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Issue No. 18

Celebrating Local Foods, Season by Season

Canal House Cooks

Urban beekeeping • Chiles & peppers Craft beer • CinCinnati eats • flying horse farms green edge gardens • ColUmbUs Co-ops

Summer 2014


Summer Contents 2014

Departments Letter from the Publisher Letter from the Editor The Seasoned Farmhouse Farm Notes Local and In Season In the Garden

15 20 21 21 21 21 26 40

Policy Matters Edible Outdoors Behind the Bottle

43 44

Worth the Trip

45

From the Kitchen

tomatoes all dressed Up for summer hosin-ful spare ribs old-fashioned layered potato salad potato salad “buttered” and lemoned Cool Cucumber & mint salad with sichuan pepper thick & Chewy brownies summer pickled peppers pan seared diver sea scallops with roasted sweet summer Corn, peas, miso butter, bacon and roasted onions sparkling thyme lemonade goat Cheese with sautéed Cherries, pistachios and fresh thyme nectarine and blueberry Crostata with polenta Crust

Local Foodshed From the Good Earth On the Cover: our nectarine and blueberry

Advertiser Directory Last Seed

Crostata with polenta Crust from recipe editor sarah lagrotteria, photographed by ryan benyi. see page 45 for the recipe.

Features 16

Canal House the creators of the award-winning cookbook, Canal House Cooks Every Day, and more talk about eating well and being happy By Sarah Lagrotteria

54

The Activist Itch Why co-ops in Central ohio foster communities fighting the good food fight By Nicole Rasul, Photography by Jodi Miller

59

Little Farm, Big City over the fence farm’s drive to create an urban farm at home in Clintonville By Nancy McKibben, Photography by Catherine Murray

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Cover and Contents photos by © ryan benyi, ryanbenyi.Com

4 6 8 11 14 25 29 30 33 36 43 46 50 62 64

RECIPES


letter from the Publisher

A

t our recent conference for Edible publishers, I had the good fortune to hear chef Dan Barber speak on his research and his new book, The Third Plate. Dan is arguably one of the most important chefs in America today, and I have long admired his industry leadership, his research on sustainable agriculture, his work in the kitchen at Blue Hill and his vision for Stone Barns Agriculture Center. When I heard Dan speak he said, “The farm-to-table movement is not working.” Dan went on to explain that midsize farms are still disappearing at an alarming rate, consumer support has not made the economic impact we had hoped and we have been unable to move the needle in terms of policy changes regarding American sustainable agriculture.

edible Columbus Publisher & Editor in Chief

Tricia Wheeler Managing Editor & Editor

Colleen Leonardi Recipe Editor

Sarah Lagrotteria Copy Editors

Doug Adrianson • Susanna Cantor In The Third Plate, Dan writes about a new national cuisine. He illustrates that the first plate we ate from was a meal of meat with a few vegetables and, thanks to the local food movement, the second plate has more grass-fed meats and vegetables. But neither plate helps the long-term productivity of the land. A third plate would follow a new pattern of eating that supports our health, our soil and our entire farms. What if we had to cook and eat all of the edible things a farm grew to keep its soil healthy? It’s called rotational eating and, using that method, we would create a marketplace for all of the rotational crops that a farm needs to plant to give the soil what it needs. A farmer Dan works with named Klaas Martens taught him the importance of quality soil for the taste and quality of the food he grows. Cover crops replace nutrients lost in a previous harvest, legumes infuse the soil with nitrogen, rye adds soil structure and reduces weeds, and only after all those steps is Martens ready to plant his wheat. The soil determines what is planted and, in the end, what he eats. To eat in concert with the seasons and cook nourishing meals from what is on hand requires culinary instinct and flexibility. We believe good cooks develop their instinct over time, practicing techniques, learning how to develop flavors and gaining the confidence to do a lot with a little. We also hone our instinct through reading, watching and tasting the work of culinary idols who have come before us. This summer, we are so excited to share with you two of our favorite culinary idols: Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer, the women behind Canal House books. After leaving their notable culinary careers at Saveur magazine, these two women bought a canal house studio on the banks of the Delaware River in Lambertville, NJ, where they write and cook every day and share their notes on good cooking and good living in their Canal House Cooking volumes. Christopher and Melissa are our special guests on September 18 for an afternoon of culinary conversation and a specially prepared Canal House lunch at beautiful Jorgensen Farms—see their article on page 16 and more details about their visit on page 22. Summer is always a good time to learn something new. This issue of Edible Columbus will help to connect you with the people and places that have inspired us. Please come visit us for our edible afternoon on the farm with Melissa and Christopher and see page 8 for our full schedule of cooking classes at The Seasoned Farmhouse.

Editorial Intern

Danielle Vilaplana Design

Melissa Petersen Digital & Communications Director

Alexandria Misch Business Development

Shelly Strange Contributors

Brooke Albrecht • Eric Albrecht Ryan Benyi • Bryn Bird • Melissa Hamilton Christopher Hirsheimer • Claire Hoppens Debra Knapke • Sarah Lagrotteria Eric LeMay • Colleen Leonardi Nancy McKibben • Jodi Miller Catherine Murray • Robin Oatts Nicole Rasul • Nicolene Schwartz Carole Topalian • Bill Vanscoy Gina Weathersby Contact Us

P.O. Box 21-8376, Columbus, Ohio 43221 info@ediblecolumbus.com ediblecolumbus.com Edible Columbus

@ediblecbus

Advertising Inquiries

tricia@ediblecolumbus.com shelly@ediblecolumbus.com

Wishing you a happy summer! Edible Columbus is published quarterly and distributed throughout Central Ohio. Subscription rate is $25 annually. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be used without written permission from the publisher. Every effort is made to avoid errors, misspellings and omissions. If, however, an error comes to your attention, please accept our sincere apologies and notify us. Thank you.

Tricia Wheeler PS: We’d love to connect with you online at Facebook, Twitter and our new website launching in June. We’re also thrilled to be on Instagram at @ediblecolumbus, and on Pinterest and Tumblr at “Edible Columbus.” Stop by and let us know what you’re savoring in our local food community!

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I

have a confession to make: I’m not ready for the future of food. I don’t grow my own food. I don’t compost. I still use paper bags sometimes at the grocery store when I forget my cute canvas ones. I love avocados and chocolate, two foods that may become extinct along with coffee because of climate change. And I’m really not ready for Soylent, a doughy drink filled with all the nutrients a human needs to survive—recently written about in The New Yorker. Its creator, Rob Rhinehart, believes food takes too much time, and that farming is a dirty, dangerous job that needs to be reimagined.

No one knows what the future will taste like. That’s why, as Mark Bittman said at the Edible Institute, “Everybody has to be made to care about food issues.” Nothing about the broken food system and the local food movement is simple. So let’s stop pretending that as locavores we know all of the solutions. Let’s get comfortable with saying, “We don’t know.” When experts talk about local food saving the planet I think, “It’s not the planet that needs to be saved—it’s us. The planet, Mother Earth, will be around long after the human race. We’re trying to rescue humanity and its relationship to the Earth.” The local food movement is a human movement that needs to embrace our harsh reality and look at what we’re really fighting for: our lives.

Subscribe today to Edible Columbus never miss a single issue with pristine copies delivered right to your door! subscribe for yourself, or as a thoughtful gift for one of your favorite food lovers.

Subscribe online at: ediblecolumbus.com, or mail a check for $25.00 payable to: Edible Columbus, PO. Box 21-8376, Columbus, Ohio 43221

Edible Columbus, is supported by our advertisers and subscribers. With your paid subscription, you help support our mission to tell the stories of our local farmers, chefs, growers and food artisans. 

People who live with diabetes, obesity, cancer know this. The children with serious illnesses at Flying Horse Farms in Mt. Gilead know this, and they come to camp to experience a sense of community around their reality. The farm-to-table ethos has missed the mark and left a working class in the dust of disease and malnutrition. We have to get better at this. We have to care about all those who suffer because of our broken food system. We have to cultivate relationships as much as we do the land. We have to feel our way to the solutions. In this summer issue, we look at people who bucked the trends and decided to make progress on their own terms, and not in a silo, but by building community around what they care about. We look at Central Ohio’s co-ops and how they’re sites for what one eater calls, “the activist itch.” We share how the craft beer boom has opened the door for local breweries to innovate new approaches to an age-old drink. Green Edge Gardens in Athens, Ohio, has created a year-round CSA, making them resilient in the marketplace and a staple for restaurants and eaters alike throughout the seasons. Over the Fence Farm is an urban farm started by a Clintonville family that rolled up their sleeves and said, “Let’s grow our food right here,” and now have a whole community engaged. And we’re delighted to welcome the creators of Canal House, Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer, to our pages, sharing their story of why they left New York City to break out on their own and start something beautiful and close to the land. “Grandpa Scott did for me what I’d like to think our local farmers do for all of us,” writes Eric LeMay in our “Last Seed” feature. He “put us in touch with the ground. Ground us, literarily, in the food we eat and the earth from which it grows.” This summer I plan to take LeMay’s words to heart. I will ground and surrender and trust that it’s because of the Earth, not in spite of it, that we know there is something here worth saving: us. With gratitude,

Colleen Leonardi P.S. Save the date for our Whole Foods launch party for our fall issue where you can enjoy hard cider, heirloom pumpkins, meet our contributors and pick up the first copies of our fall edition. September 16 at Whole Foods Market in Dublin, 5pm–7pm. 6

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photo by © sarah Warda, sarahWarda.Com

letter from the editor


the seasoned farmhouse We hope you will join us for classes at our French Country-inspired cooking school at 3674 N. High St., near the Clintonville Farmers Market. Email questions to classes@theseasonedfarmhouse.com. For full class descriptions and to register, please visit theseasonedfarmhouse.com. Private Events: the seasoned farmhouse is available for private events from corporate team-building to special birthdays. Whatever you’re looking for, we are here to help you create a memorable event. our space is designed for groups to cook together, dine together and gather for private cooking and gardening demonstrations. We have plenty of options when it comes to customizing your event. the seasoned farmhouse, created by Chef tricia Wheeler, is a recreational cooking school, learning garden, cookbook library, specialty culinary boutique and private event space located in Clintonville. the year-round cookery, gardening and educational programming celebrates seasonal ingredients from the bountiful farms and artisan producers throughout ohio. the school’s rotating instructors come from near and far to share their craft and their passions. We believe nothing is more rewarding than cooking for those you love. the seasoned farmhouse is a place to learn and connect with our food and our community.

Summer 2014 Cooking Classes July 9: Parisian Macarons in this hands-on class, you will learn to make parisian macarons with different fillings, including jam, chocolate ganache and buttercream, as well as assorted colors for the shells.

July 13: Eating Our Medicine to Preserve Our Past Join us to learn about the history and the controversy surrounding our community health knowledge. you’ll each make fire Cider and learn how to use this tonic for cold and flu season in drinks, salad dressings and more.

July 14: Southern Cooking with Cast Iron this class will answer all of the questions you’ve ever had about cooking with cast iron—from what to cook with it to how to care for it—while teaching you delicious southern recipes.

July 16: Taste of Travel: Bastille Day Celebration this fête menu includes dishes that embrace La Fête Nationale. learn about the historical background of this festive celebration while enjoying a delicious regional meal. 8

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July 22, 29, August 5, 12: Summer Italian Series if you love italian food but aren’t confident in your ability to recreate authentic italian taste, this is the series for you. in each week of this series, we will help you create a delicious from-scratch italian meal.

July 24: Late Summer Gourmet Garden July is not too late to plant your favorite summer and fall vegetables. learn relay dates, how to extend your summer garden, how to plant garlic and keep it safe over winter and more.

July 26: A Farmers Market Lunch with Founder Lynne Genter: Sweet Corn Join us for a behind-the-scenes tour of the farmers market and an informal lunch featuring cantaloupe and ohio sweet corn.

August 4: Taste of Summer at this year’s “taste of summer” class, we will teach you how to make elegant preparations of ohio vegetables at the height of their season.

August 6: Making Raspberry Charlotte in this hands-on class, each student will make and take home a light and refreshing raspberry Charlotte, an elegant french dessert made with soft lady fingers, raspberry mousse and fresh raspberries.

August 7: Creating Gourmet HerbInfused Oils, Flavored Vinegars and Seasoned Salts Join us for a hands-on culinary adventure where you’ll learn how to create gourmet herbal salts and flavored oils and vinegars that you can use for everything from sauces to dressings or dips.

August 9: Elegant Summer Barbecue Event We’re turning the farmhouse into a barbecue joint for the evening for this special summer farmhouse event. Join us for classics, including slow-roasted local pork ribs and sausage, smoky jalapeño cornbread and fried green tomatoes.

We still have openings in our 30-week Classical French training series, starting October 2014! Please see our website for more details.


August 25: A Book Reading and Demo Class with Author Molly Wizenberg the seasoned farmhouse is thrilled to welcome molly Wizenberg, author of Orangette and The New York Times best-selling memoirs A Homemade Life and Delancey: A Man, a Woman, a Restaurant, a Marriage. molly will read from Delancey, her behind-the-scenes memoir of “the life she never expected to have” as co-owner of seattle’s popular pizza restaurant. she’ll also join us for a lunch featuring recipes from the book and sign a complimentary copy of Delancey for each guest.

August 13: Taste of Travel: A Picnic in Provence Celebrate eat-outdoors season with recipes from a provençal picnic basket filled with local, seasonal ingredients that not only hold up well in the heat but taste even better eaten under a beautiful summer sky.

August 24: Green Thumb, Great Chef garden-fresh ingredients infuse extra flavor in your dishes, so why not have a garden at your home? in this class, we’ll teach you a variety of lessons to help you gain confidence to start cooking with homegrown food.

August 26: Summer Pies August 15: Lombardi Italian Date Night in this romantic date night, you’ll cook dishes native to the lombardi region of italy, after which you’ll get to relax and dine with wine pairings from the region.

August 16: A Farmers Market Lunch with Founder Lynne Genter: Eggplant

Celebrate summer’s abundance of juicy fruit with classic summer pies in this hands-on class that teaches you how to transform delicious pastry dough into a variety of summer favorites.

embrace summer’s heat with our hands-on southwestern cooking class, featuring a variety of produce harvested from our school gardens during class, as well as food from other local artisans.

August 17: Summer Salads

August 28: Moroccan Cooking

enjoy summer’s bounty at its peak as we pull fresh greens from our farmhouse garden, source produce from local farms and build salads that highlight the beauty of summer ingredients.

learn to prepare a traditional moroccan feast from fresh mint tea to sweet date cake. in this hands-on class, we’ll experience the flavors and cooking methods that make moroccan cuisine unique.

August 18, 20, 22: The Building Bread Series: Baguette to Focaccia to Ciabatta

September 2: Cooking Inspired by Chef Yotam Ottolenghi

August 19: Entertaining with Herbs: Creative New Recipes with Favorite Fresh Herbs in this class, you’ll discover new recipes that transform an abundance of fresh-picked herbs into creative dishes that will wow guests at your next dinner party or picnic.

August 21: San Francisco Date Night in this hands-on class, you and your date will craft a meal of iconic san francisco dishes, including a Chez panisse salad, spicy cioppino and more.

in this hands-on Japanese cuisine class, you will learn how to make a delicious, traditional Japanese ramen noodle soup, from broth to toppings.

September 13: A Farmers Market Lunch with Founder Lynne Genter: Apples Join us for a behind-the-scenes tour of the farmers market and an informal lunch of fall crudités, apple-smoked bacon salad, seasoned farmhouse apple crumble and och’s fresh apple Cider.

August 27: Southwestern Cooking

Join us for a behind-the-scenes tour of the farmers market and an informal lunch featuring ohio eggplant and other local artisan goods.

this series teaches you all the building blocks you’ll need to become a confident bread baker from start to finish. no previous experience necessary, only a passion for making good bread.

September 10: Making Homemade Ramen

in this class, we’ll cook a menu inspired by yotam ottolenghi, who is famous for having “sexed-up” vegetables by combining flavors from the middle east, the mediterranean and asia.

September 4: French Bistro Date Night this hands-on class is for couples that want to spend a fun evening learning the french techniques necessary to prepare a classic bistro meal.

September 7: Vegetable Fermentation learn how to take advantage of fresh vegetables sourced from the nearby Clintonville farmers market as we teach you the basics of fermentation and create sauerkraut and other simple vegetable ferments.

September 14: Middle Eastern Desserts learn how to recreate the simple sweets of the middle east in our hands-on class, where you’ll participate in each step of the baking process.

September 23: Cooking from Momofuku this is the third in our on-going series of cooking from iconic cookbooks. in this class, our focus will be on the dishes that have made momofuku a household name: steamed pork buns with char siu pork, homemade ramen, ginger scallion noodles and more.

September 24: Edible Calendar: Growing & Eating Seasonally in this class, you’ll gain a thorough understanding of Central ohio’s seasonal edible calendar and learn how to better coordinate your kitchen to your garden.

September 28: Plate to Soil in this class, we'll delve into the fascinating, hidden world of the soil food web, including discovering the ratios, temperature and color that make a great compost pile.

Thank you to our Pantry Sponsor

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farm notes

Diary of an Urban Beekeeper by Jodi miller, photography by robin oatts

Left: Jodi checking the bees on the westside Rain Brother’s Roof. “We installed a new package of bees April 28. They are doing well.” Right: A well-stocked frame with new bees, brood and honey.

I

love Columbus. I love living in Olde Towne East, one mile from downtown and all of my favorite restaurants, urban biking and the hum, buzz and heartbeat of this city.

But I want to help the bees. They are in trouble and need our help. So I set out on a journey to try and do both things, live near downtown and keep bees. I read the book Eat the City by Robin Shulman, and the first chapter is about honey, beekeepers and their hives that inhabit the rooftops of New York City. I thought, “If they can keep honey bees on the rooftops of New York City, why can’t we do that in Columbus?” A year ago, during the winter, I took the COBA (Central Ohio Beekeepers Association) beginning bee class. I talked my dad into building eight traditional Langstroth beehives in his basement, read as much as I could, watched all of the bee movies and set out to find people in Columbus who would let me keep my bees on their rooftops. I’m a photographer, and I’ve photographed a lot of chefs in the city. I know Bill Glover, the executive chef at The Gallerie Bar & Bistro in the new Hilton Columbus Downtown. I approached him with the idea of putting bees on the roof at the Hilton. He loved the idea and so did the Hilton.

I also wanted to put two hives on the near westside and two hives in Olde Towne East. With help from my friend Jenn Gable, I found Rain Brothers, LLC on the near westside. Owner Jonathan Meier had just purchased two warehouses to grow his business and agreed to let me use one of his roofs. Olde Towne East was the toughest. Plenty of people were interested in the bees, but none with a suitable roof. So I decided to keep the Olde Towne hive on the ground at my community garden plot. That made a total of five hives for my first year as a beekeeper. Spring came, and so did my 50,000 bees. All installed into their new homes in one day. Incredible. Running around the city last summer and caring for those hives was amazing, exhilarating, challenging and heartbreaking. I never realized how much I would worry about the bees—if they were finding enough food, if the wind was too hard on them. I didn’t realize how much I would learn from them about patience, reverence and my own limitations.

The Hilton hives had a great summer but perished during the recent brutal winter. With the help of Hilton’s David Gillis, assistant director of Property Operations, the Hilton has started three new hives this spring. The westside hives didn’t make it either. But with the encouragement of my westside co-beekeeper, Dan Stanton, we put a new package of bees on the Rain Brother’s roof this spring. The Olde Towne East hive was the weakest of all the hives going into the winter but managed to survive, and is thriving. And I’ve added a new hive this year for Seventh Son brewmaster, Colin Vent, in Italian Village. I have a little more confidence this year. I know more about what to expect. All the hives are doing great so far. Want to help the bees? Keep planting flowers and gardens. And stop spraying chemicals on the dandelions. Bees love dandelions. Keep bees if you can. It’s easier than you might think. Contact COBA to get started, centralohiobeekeepers.org.

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farm notes

What’s in a Label?

neither label makes your food safer or healthier. that is going to be determined by the dedication and integrity of the farmer.

by bill vanscoy

L

abels can be used to help define or describe items that we use every day. From the time we get up in the morning til we go to bed, we are bombarded with labels. Labels are on our toothpaste, clothes, cars, electronics, food—the list goes on. But do we, as consumers, really know what everything on the label means? Or if everything on the label is truthful?

Labels are a form of marketing that describes your food, but they are also used to sell products. For example, the label “locally grown” has a very fluid definition. Federally, the USDA has admitted that locally grown has no single definition. In 2008 Congress deemed in the “Food, Conservation and Energy Act” that locally or regionally produced agricultural products could be defined as products that have been “transported less than 400 miles from origin or within the state in which it was produced.” People often think that the food was grown close to a particular store or market. Unfortunately, that is not necessarily true. Many growers use the locally grown label to attract business and describe their products. Do your own research, though; just because the label says locally grown, check where the farm is located. I have seen Florida products on the store shelves in Ohio under the locally grown produce section. In this case the local label is used as a marketing tool to gain more market share.

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Another well-established label and one that carries many definitions is the label “organic.” Let’s look at a few of the different meanings behind the label: •

Lord Northbourne coined the term “organic farming” in his book Look to the Land (1940), out of his conception of “the farm as organism,” to describe a holistic, ecologically balanced approach to farming. This was in contrast to what he called chemical farming, which relied on “imported fertility.” This is the first reference to organic farming that I have found. Others have used the phrase “carbon-based” method of growing, which has now been outdated since the onset of GMO crops. GMO means genetically modified organism. The organic label prohibits the use of GMO seed. In 1997 the USDA drafted an organic label that included the use of GMO ingredients as a part of the legal organic definition. The draft label was defeated, and the USDA instead adopted an organic label that prohibits GMO ingredients. The products that can be used in organic farming can be found on the USDA website. The USDA has claimed the organic label as its own. It is unlawful for a U.S. farm or vendor to sell or claim products are organic unless they are certified by the USDA. The only exemption is if that farm or vendor sells less than $5,000 annually. Interestingly, the organic label is not a worldwide standard.

Other countries have their own set of organic rules, which are similar to the U.S. standards, that they follow. So the question is: Is imported organic food the same as U.S. organic food? According to a Food Safety News article dated June 2013: “The short answer to that question lies in the fact that firms worldwide have the ability to certify farms according to the standards set forth by the USDA. As long as a proper authority can verify a farm operates according to organic standards once a year, that farm can become USDA-certified organic whether it’s outside Indianapolis or Istanbul.” As a consumer, I trust food inspection and safety to be a high priority, but of all the food that enters this country (organic or otherwise), the USDA inspects only a small percentage of all imported food annually, some reports citing only 2%.

Food labels are everywhere, and I wanted to share my thoughts about two that I come into contact with most often. I have been asked many times which label is better. The answer is neither. Neither label makes your food safer or healthier. That is going to be determined by the dedication and integrity of the farmer. We have lots of choices in this country as to what food we eat and where it comes from. I would suggest to consumers that if you know your farmer, you know your food source.


local & In Season

What to Eat

What to Plant

Early Harvest: June

June

Fruits: black, purple and red

Starting plants from seed inside: haricot vert (filet) bush beans—two reasons to have some plants in reserve:

raspberries; strawberries; gooseberries Vegetables: broccoli, green peas,

1.

your “in-waiting” plants can replace spent plants; haricot verts fruit heavily and then may stall in our July/august heat; start these in late June.

2.

if the mexican bean beetles and bean leaf beetles decide to make a salad out of your beans, you can

asparagus, lettuces and greens,

replace your plants after the bean beetle population decreases. make sure to clean up any debris that

rhubarb

the beetles left behind.

Peak Harvest: July to August

Direct seed outside: haricot vert bush beans and pole beans, once the soil is warm—around 60°.

edible flowers

Carrots, starting these later than recommended on the package (may, when the soil is warm) will help you

Fruits: black, purple and red

avoid the carrot rust maggot fly. Choose carrots that mature faster.

raspberries; everbearing strawberries; blackberries; gooseberries; peaches; Currants; tomatoes; Cantaloupe Vegetables: green peas; sweet Corn; bell, hot and sweet peppers; Cucumbers; eggplant; Carrots; garlic; leeks; okra; lettuces and greens; potatoes

Transplant outside: summer squash and zucchini seedlings. planting a bit later may allow your vines to escape a squash vine borer outbreak.

July (not so much a planting time as a “taking care” time and harvest time) 1.

Use a straw or hay mulch around your plants to conserve water and suppress weed seed germination.

2.

Water as needed. Consider using a drip irrigation system that will put water right where it needs to go.

3.

Watch for pests. two examples are: Watch for the advance scouts of Japanese beetles in late June through mid-July. dispatching these scouts can significantly reduce your pest problem. and search for

Late Harvest:

the dreaded marmorated stink bug. you know what they look like; you’ve been removing then from your

August to early September

home all winter and spring! the traps do work, but you need to replace the pheromone packet as rec-

edible flowers

ommended and you will need to periodically dump the captured bugs. dropping them into a jar of soapy water is very satisfying.

Fruits: apples; everbearing strawberries; fall raspberries; blackberries; peaches; grapes; tomatoes; Cantaloupe;

4.

the harvesting begins of tomatoes, especially the cherry, grape and pear types; chilies and green bell

5.

mid to late July: you may be planting out bush beans. you can extend your season in the fall with row

peppers, kohlrabi, greens, summer squash and zucchini.

Watermelon

covers to get the most out of your later planted beans.

Vegetables: sweet Corn; bell, hot and sweet peppers; eggplant; Carrots; garlic; leeks; okra; lettuces and greens;

6.

if you want to be “ahead” you can start lettuces in mid-July for transplanting in mid-august.

August For fall crops, direct seed outside around August 15: beets • lettuce (or transplant seedlings) • the many

potatoes

cole or Brassica crops: kale, rapini, mustards, arugula • mesclun mixes, which may be a mix of lettuces

Editor’s Note: make some time at the farmers

and mustards • Corn mâche • peas • radishes—but be warned: if august is hot, so will your radishes be!

market to talk to your farmer and find out what’s

you could wait until september and hope for cooler weather.

growing this summer, and what’s not. the harsh winter and wet spring took a toll on some crops

Last Note:

like our local peaches. so be flexible and learn

these recommendations are given with a “normal” season in mind. We had colder soils for longer than

what’s in abundance this summer from the farmer

usual this past spring. Who knows what the summer will bring?

who grows your food.

—Debra Knapke

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What to Cook Tomatoes All Dressed Up For Summer Recipe and photo reprinted with permission from Canal House Cooks Every Day by Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer

serves 4–6 melissa hamilton and Christopher hirsheimer of Canal house agree that this is their very favorite summer recipe. for more recipes and their thoughts on home cooking, see pages 16–21.

—Sarah Lagrotteria the private pleasure of eating a tomato sandwich over the kitchen sink with the juices dripping through our fingers and down our chins is one of our constant summer rituals. these tomatoes are so sensual that they probably should be eaten behind closed doors. —MH and CH 8–12 slices crusty bread 1 clove garlic, peeled ½ cup really good extra-virgin olive oil salt 4–6 tomatoes, cored and thickly sliced ½ cup mayonnaise pepper small handful fresh chives, chopped small handful fresh parsley leaves, chopped

toast the bread. While the toast is still warm, rub each slice with garlic, rubbing more or less firmly depending on how much flavor you’re after. drizzle the toast with some of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt. slather the tomatoes with mayonnaise and arrange them on a serving platter. drizzle the remaining oil over them, season well with salt and pepper, and scatter the fresh herbs on top. you can make open-faced tomato sandwiches or just serve the toasts on the side.

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Canal House The creators of the award-winning cookbook, Canal House Cooks Every Day, and more talk about eating well and being happy by sarah lagrotteria

Canal House, the small studio where Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer cook, photograph and write, has become a place of legend among committed home cooks and professionals. My “visit” occurs via speakerphone and what I hear is summer in a working kitchen. Pots scrape burners, blades rock against boards and a yellow jacket buzzes in through the open window. What I don’t hear is chatter. Melissa and Christopher, colleagues from their days as the head test chef and a founding editor, respectively, of Saveur magazine, have found their professional niche in home cooking with one another. They finish each other’s sentences when questioned but otherwise collaborate in near silence. That silence is fruitful: a clothbound book lands on subscribers’ doorsteps three times a year, full of seasonal recipes and meditations; their lunch goes viral daily on Canal House Cooks Lunch (lunch.thecanalhouse.com); and Canal House Cooks Every Day, their inspiring collection of home recipes and natural light photography won a James Beard Award in 2013. Here Melissa and Christopher share more of the creative partnership that makes Canal House where we want to be. —SL

Q:

How did Canal House originally come about?

Christopher Hirsheimer: It was an organic process. The two of us had worked with each other for a long time and eventually we took a studio and were photographing other people’s books. Since we both cook and have written recipes and been in the food world for so long we decided that maybe it was time we do our own thing. We started writing everything down and it just came to be.

Melissa Hamilton: We got the studio here [in Lambertville, New Jersey]. The Delaware River separates New Jersey and Pennsylvania where we are and I was living on the New Jersey side. Christopher has been this area for 30 years, so it was a good common place to be. But it didn’t matter where we were; it was more about the studio and the light that goes on in here. It’s a little funky but wonderful. We have [a] tall ceiling and a whole bank of windows. Christopher photographs with only natural light, so that was important. It does happen to be in a very beautiful area with the canal down below so we called it Canal House. We keep it quite pared down so it has a lot of flexibility for a cooking, shooting and designing studio.

CH: People live up and down the river and are always going back and forth on pretty iron bridges to these old-fashioned, beautiful river towns. We hear the noon whistle and the trains coming and going. It’s not too Disneyland. It’s what we very much like. It’s authentic and our studio is pretty authentic. We worry sometimes that people will come out here and find a space not so beautifully renovated. We’re rustic. We had had these long commutes, both of us working in New York and we finally came to our senses when the timing was right. We said, let’s do Plan B and see if we can bring people to us instead of us going to them. It’s like [the movie,] Field of Dreams. If you build it they will come. It’s really, really true. It’s so hard to get New Yorkers out here, but once they come out, they get it. We were very lucky to be able to make this space work for us and Canal House. To do what we do where we do it.

Melissa Hamilton (left) and Christopher Hirsheimer (right) of Canal House

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all photos CoUrtesy of © melissa hamilton and Christopher hirsheimer, Canal hoUse

“you’re in the kitchen with us. you’re right on the counter.”


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Q:

What’s your food philosophy?

CH: We say we are not the church of anything. We don’t want anything to get in the way of our message of home cooking. If you can buy local, wonderful. If you can get organic, terrific. But if all you see is a supermarket, it’s better that you go and buy and cook yourself. It will be more rewarding, more delicious and more satisfying in the end than take-out or eating in a restaurant over and over.

MH: We cook lunch every day. One of us will get a text from the other saying don’t worry, I’ve got lunch. Or we don’t have an idea and one of us realizes we are starving to death and the other one will get up and make something. It’s such an incredible gift when someone cooks for you, so that is one of the things that is enormously satisfying about lunch like that. We love each other’s food and we love each other’s taste and style. Christopher will definitely do it differently than me and vice versa but it is all in the same feeling or spirit or general philosophy. We’ve known each other so long that we know each other’s moves. But you are always learning from the other the person and we are always reacting to food and doing things new.

CH: Melissa is gutsier than I am and I have learned to loosen up, so now we pretty much like the same things. We are always checking in with each other. For example, we are making short ribs for dinner tonight. I went to the market to buy the meat. I’m in there and I’m [asking myself ] on or off the bone? I call Melissa and we go back and forth and I go back and forth with the butcher. Now I have [the short ribs] and they look beautiful and I’m cooking them but we constantly check with each other, and that’s the fun of

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it. I wanted to use caraway, but we don’t have it. Melissa says she’ll get it but then I say it doesn’t matter, I’ll use cumin. That’s the beauty of knowing how to cook. You know it doesn’t really matter. If you don’t cook and you just follow a recipe in the book you think caraway is the most important thing and you don’t know you can switch it.

MH: We hope to convey that in our recipes. We want to really encourage people to cook and not get hung up on the wrong thing (like the caraway).

Q:

The book opens with C.P. Cavafy’s poem, Ithaca. Why start there?

CH: The wonderful message: go live your life. When you head out on the journey you don’t know what you will see, but you will see such riches. If you arrive somewhere and go to some typical restaurant you’ll eat what the place tastes like and you’ll see the people. All of the senses are there. If you cook the food, that is also a way into the culture. If you cook Moroccan food because you can’t go to Morocco you will get a wonderful sense of that culture. That’s the point of life in our thinking: to experience it and accept all the riches and all the problems that it brings you. Embrace it.

MH: The journey is the fun part. What are you going to do after you arrive? It’s the same [with cooking]. If you are working with a recipe and searing short ribs and adding these delicious spices and the recipe says cook for 30 minutes in the oven, but you know there is no way they are going to be cooked after 30 minutes, you can fix that. We want you to feel that you can do that.


Q:

Your book includes marginalia: the weather when you first served a dish, where you found the inspiration for it, etc. How do you hope readers use your book?

MH: The book was inspired by the lunch blog Canal House Cooks Lunch. So much of the choice of what we are going to have that day is based on what’s available and what the weather is like. It’s freezing cold and we want something to nurse, or it’s boiling hot so we want to take off our clothes and eat a ripe tomato. The marginalia are a reminder, a sense of what is happening in March. No one can remember once it’s July that in April we were sitting out and having a picnic, or that it snowed after Easter.

CH: This book is so personal. That was the weather the day we made that. The [notes] are very real. That’s what we did. I think we need that so people have context.

Q:

Can you describe a typical work day?

CH: We arrive at the studio around 9am. If it’s summer or fall, one of us will stop at a local farm stand and see what’s there or buy something for lunch. Or it could be something left over from the night before. We come in and catch up, have a cup of tea or coffee and then we dive in. We’re either writing something or shooting something or cooking something. We don’t even know where the time goes. One of us will get up and cook lunch. We shoot it and write it but that happens very quickly. We’ll eat it and then we continue with what we are up to. MH: We have the same calendar and I write everything in it and every couple of months Christopher will say, “What did we do for the last two months?” and I can say we got that project done, or we were in New York, etc. We are always working and doing and making and the day flies by. Just how we like it, too.

CH: Occasionally [after a long day], we go to The Boat House. We call it the best bar in the world. MH: We’ll have a Sidecar and then the nice lady will come and ask, “How are you doing?” They’ll never ask if we want another. We look at each other and then we’ll say, “We’ll have a Mabel.” It’s one drink poured between two glasses. Town lore is that a woman named Mabel would leave her house in the afternoon and have a half drink at each bar in town. We liked that.

Q:

if you can buy local, wonderful. if you can get organic, terrific. but if all you see is a supermarket, it’s better that you go and buy and cook yourself. it will be more rewarding, more delicious and more satisfying in the end than take-out or eating in a restaurant over and over.

Q:

What does your creative process look like?

CH: The inspiration comes just from us. We are in the middle of doing a little Italian series. We just happen to have been in Italy a lot. It’s funny how things happen. A friend of ours [Colman Andrews, founding editor-in-chief of Saveur] wrote a huge Italian book (The Country Cooking of Italy) and we shot it and were inspired by that.

Q:

Christopher, when you pick up a camera what are you looking for?

CH: Something I recognize, really. Something that speaks to me, that has feeling.

Q:

What do you love most about your work? What is most challenging?

CH: That we get to do it and we get to do it together. We like to see our challenges in a positive light. They are the grit that gives you traction. We have all the same day-to-day problems that every business has. And luckily we have each other to lean on and pass the baton to, just when the “relay race” wears you out.

Q:

What Canal House dish most says summer to you and what do you love about it?

MH: We were talking about this earlier and we both came up with same one at the exact same time: tomatoes all dressed up for summer. We love ripe tomatoes so juicy that you don’t have to do anything to them. (For this recipe, see Local and In Season, page 14.)

Where do you find your ingredients?

CH: We do shop locally. It just makes sense and we want to support everyone. But it takes a while for the spring produce to come in. We wrote a whole book (Canal House Cooking Volume 6: the Grocery Store), in which we talk about what we do in February. There is nothing, no farmers market. You have to make friends with your grocery store. We made great friends with our grocery store. It happens to be a good one, but not a fancy one. It’s a Shop-Rite and is family-owned and they have a wonderful selection of things. We will find tucked in there a delicious unfiltered virgin olive oil or Kerry Gold butter. We think of it as our pantry. We did look it up when we wanted to write about it because we wanted to be sure all their practices were good. When you shop somewhere, that’s your vote. But we want people to understand that you can cook out of the grocery store. You have to.

Q:

Finally, what advice would you give to the home cook?

MH: One thing: Just keep cooking. Keep cooking. If you get stuck, follow us and we’ll help you. We have a little saying we like. It’s on the back of the big red book: “Eat well. Be happy.”

Sarah Lagrotteria is a fCi-trained chef who has worked for mario batali, taught writing classes on food culture at stanford and contributed to numerous cookbooks. in 2003, sarah co-founded apples & onions, a private chef company in malibu, Ca. she now lives in Worthington with her husband and daughter marlowe.

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Hosin-ful Spareribs for the Fourth of July serves 4–6 even though baby back or country-style ribs look meatier, we prefer pork spareribs for their succulent finger-lickin’ goodness. if you don’t have the time to babysit these ribs, cook them in the oven, then just finish them off on the grill to add a little smoky perfume.—MH and CH For the Hoisin-ful Sauce 2 cups hoisin sauce ¾ cup bourbon 2 cloves garlic, smashed For the Ribs 6 pounds pork spareribs salt and pepper for the hoisin-ful sauce, mix together the hoisin sauce, bourbon and garlic in a bowl. set aside and allow the flavors to develop. fish out the garlic cloves and discard. for the ribs, remove the membrane on the underside of the ribs by loosening it first with a knife on one edge then pulling it off diagonally with a pair of pliers. it may come off in pieces; that’s fine. (or ask your butcher to do this for you). rub the ribs with lots of salt and pepper, then paint all over with some of the hoisin-ful sauce. Cover the ribs and let them marinate in the refrigerator overnight. preheat the oven to 275º. put the ribs on a baking sheet lined with foil and cook until the meat is tender, 2–3 hours. brush the ribs with sauce every now and then. to finish the ribs in the oven, continue to cook them for another 30 minutes, brushing the ribs with sauce every 5 minutes. the ribs will develop a lacquered glaze. to finish the ribs on the grill, preheat a grill. if using a charcoal grill, build a small charcoal fire to one side. if using a gas grill, fire up the “back burner” to a medium heat. you want heat and smoke but not direct flame, which can cause the sugary glaze on the ribs to burn. put the ribs on the grill away from the fire. Cover with the lid. stay near the grill to manage any flare-ups. Cook the ribs for 30 minutes, brushing them with sauce every 10 minutes. let the meat rest for 15 minutes, then cut between the bones into the ribs and serve.

From top to bottom: A Fourth of July menu from Canal House Cooks Every Day featuring Hosin-ful Spareribs (top), Old-Fashioned Layered Potato Salad (right middle), Potato Salad “Buttered” and Lemoned (right lower), Cool Cucumber & Mint Salad with Sichuan Pepper (left middle) and Thick & Chewy Brownies (left lower).

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Potato Salad “Buttered” and Lemoned

Thick & Chewy Brownies

serves 6

makes 16

preserved lemons are a big part of our cooking. every winter we take advantage of meyer lemon season,

heating the butter and sugar together give these

buying them at our local market and receiving them from our friends in California, who pick them from the

brownies their distinctive taste and look—rich and

trees in their backyards and mail us boxes filled with these sweet lemons. We make big jarfuls of preserved

fudgy, with a shiny, tissue-thin top crust. the

lemons to last us throughout the year. during the summer, we use the salty, supple rinds to add a rich,

perfect kind of brownie. —MH and CH

deep lemon flavor to everything from grilled fish to vinaigrettes to potato salads like this one.

—MH and CH

12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) butter, plus some for greasing the pan 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more

2–3 pounds potatoes, any variety will do.

2 cups sugar

salt

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

1 cup mayonnaise, or more

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

2–3 tablespoons sour cream

1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

½ cup really good extra-virgin olive oil

¼ teaspoon salt

pepper

4 large eggs

rind from 1 preserved lemon, chopped*

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

small handful chopped fresh chives or parsley leaves

1 cup chopped walnuts, optional

peel the potatoes if you use a thick-skinned variety or if you simply prefer peeled potatoes for this dish. put the potatoes in a large pot of generously salted cold water. bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until they are tender, about 20 minutes. drain and set aside until they are cool enough to handle.

preheat the oven to 350°. grease a 9-inch-square baking pan with 1 tablespoon butter, then dust it with flour, tapping out any excess. melt the butter

mix together the mayonnaise and sour cream in a small bowl. slice the potatoes and arrange them on a serving platter, “buttering” one side of each potato slice with some of the mayonnaise as you work. drizzle the potatoes with olive oil, season them with salt and pepper and scatter the preserved lemons and chives

in a medium saucepan over medium heat. add the sugar, stirring until it has the consistency of very soft slush and just begins to bubble around the edges, 1–2 minutes. remove the pan from the

or parsley on top.

heat, add both chocolates, the espresso and the *Editor’s note: lemons take a month to preserve but, once done, last up to a year in your refrigerator. for a

salt, stirring until the chocolate melts and the

recipe, see ediblecolumbus.com. if you can’t make or buy them, sauté several lemon slices in olive oil in an

mixture is smooth.

oven-proof skillet until fragrant, about 2 minutes. add a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons water then roast in put the eggs in a large mixing bowl and beat with a

a 350° oven for 10 minutes. Chop and use with pan juices as directed.

mixer on medium speed. gradually add the warm chocolate mixture, about ¼ cup at a time, beating

Old-Fashioned Layered Potato Salad

constantly until smooth. stir in the vanilla. add the

serves 6

flour and walnuts, if using, stirring until just combined. pour the batter into the prepared pan. bake

to keep the flavors of this classic potato salad from becoming confused, we assemble it in layers. it still

the brownies until a toothpick inserted into the center

tastes familiar and delicious.

comes out clean, 45–60 minutes. let the brownies cool in the pan on a rack, then cut into squares.

to assemble the salad, layer sliced warm potatoes, salt and pepper, a nice drizzle of really good extra-virgin olive oil, some mayonnaise, finely chopped celery, sliced hard-boiled eggs, chopped scallions or minced red onions and a little crispy bacon in a large shallow bowl or a platter; repeat the layers. make it as decadent as you wish—make as much as you want.

Cool Cucumber & Mint Salad with Sichuan Pepper serves 4–6 sichuan pepper doesn’t add heat to this cool crisp salad, but rather a mild, lemony flavor, and it produces a tingly, numbing sensation on the tongue—it’s flavor we love. look for the spice in asian markets or through mail order sources.—MH and CH toast 1 large pinch Sichuan peppercorns in a small skillet over medium-low heat until fragrant, 1–2 minutes, then crush in a mortar and pestle with a pinch of salt. set aside. stir together 1 finely grated garlic clove and 1 finely grated small piece peeled fresh ginger in a medium bowl. stir in 1 teaspoon sugar, the crushed Sichuan pepper, 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, then 3 tablespoons vegetable oil. season with salt. add 6–8 mini or 1 large sliced Asian cucumber. Chop 1 large handful fresh mint leaves and 1 small bunch fresh chives and add to the bowl. toss well. refrigerate for at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours before serving. adjust the seasoning.

All recipes and photos reprinted with permission from Canal House Cooks Every Day by Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer

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the seasoned farmhouse is proud to present

an afternoon with Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer of Canal House After circling the globe for Saveur magazine, Melissa and Christopher created Canal House, a rustic kitchen studio on the banks of the Delaware, where they celebrate “the everyday practice of simple cooking and the enjoyment of eating—two of the greatest pleasures in life.”

“We are home cooks writing about home cooking for other home cooks.” Melissa & Christopher

While you enjoy a gourmet lunch of Canal House recipes, Melissa and Christopher will share stories of their life in the kitchen. Our host for the afternoon will be beautiful Jorgensen Farms, which will provide small group tours of the property after lunch. As a complimentary gift, you will also receive a signed copy of the James Beard Award-winning Canal House Cooks Every Day, a collection of timeless, seasonal recipes for every day of the year.

thursday september 18 at noon Jorgensen farms 5851 e Walnut st., Westerville, ohio 43081 (parking available on site) price: $105 “eat well. be happy.” Melissa & Christopher

To reserve your seat at the table, visit TheSeasonedFarmhouse.com

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in the Garden

Some Like It Hot Growing and cooking with summertime chiles and a recipe for pickled peppers by debra knapke

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outh-filling flavor, sizzle, pizzazz, sweat-inducing, eyepopping—if you are a chile fancier then all these sensations are familiar to you.

photo by © ryan benyi, ryanbenyi.Com

A New World native from Central and South America, chiles were unknown to the Old World until Columbus landed in the West Indies in 1492. His ships carried our spicy condiment back to the tables of Europe, Africa, India and East Asia. Chiles became such an integral part of these cuisines that many are amazed to learn that they are a relatively recent addition. It is difficult to imagine Indian curry or Thai Tom Yum without the addition of chiles. We’re all familiar with the chile’s importance as a spice, but it also has a medicinal role. In past times it was used to treat a long list of ailments, and recent research has shown that capsicum is very effective in relieving pain. It has been prescribed to treat cluster headaches, shingles and arthritis. Chiles are in the genus Capsicum, derived from the Latin word capsa, meaning “box” for the shape of the fruit. The common name chile comes from the Nahuatl language, which is still spoken in Central Mexico. “Pepper” and “chile pepper” are Old World names that connect the flavor and effect of chiles to pepper. However, they are not closely related: Chiles are in the

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Summer Pickled Peppers By Tricia Wheeler this recipe for refrigerated pickled peppers is easy to prepare, full of flavor and a great condiment to have on hand. i make several batches of pickled peppers when our garden is overflowing with all different varieties of peppers. growing peppers is my husband’s garden specialty, earning him the nickname scotty mchotty! enjoy on sandwiches or pizza, with mexican dishes or antipasto platters, or just enjoy plain. 1 1-quart mason jar 3 cups white vinegar 10–18 peppers (you will want enough to pack tightly) ¼ cup sugar 1 tablespoon salt 1 tablespoon coriander seeds

Solanaceae, or tomato, family, while pepper is in the Piperaceae, or pepper, family. As with so many plants, the botanical classification of chiles has changed greatly over the years. They were first organized into species by grouping similar fruit forms. Today we use molecular techniques such as chromosome counts to determine the relationships among the various types. The upshot: At last count in 2013, the genus Capsicum contained 40 species with four species contributing most of the chile varieties we eat today. As ornamentals in the garden, chile plants look like Christmas trees in summer. The chiles themselves often run through a variety of colors as they mature from green to yellow to red to purple. Depending on the cultivar, you can have plants that range from diminutive 12-by-12-inch mounds to 4-by-3-foot-wide shrubs, if our season is long enough. Some species can grow to 30-foot trees in their native range.

One of the true culinary slow food wonders of chiles is mole; in Nahuatl, mole means “sauce.” Mole is not a single recipe, but a kaleidoscope of recipes that are influenced by regional identity and family tradition. My teacher was Wavi, who came to this country from Mexico more than 40 years ago. My Spanish is virtually non-existent and her English was minimal, so this was a watch-and-do lesson. We filled a pot with dried NuMex, Anaheim (or California) and pasilla chiles and covered them with water. This was brought to a boil and then simmered until the dried chiles became tender and started to fall apart. Next we hand-strained the mixture with a wooden spoon through a tight sieve, making sure to extract every last bit of chile flavor. We did not add any chocolate or other spices, yet the result was full of complex flavors: think essence of chile and sunshine with hints of tomato and toasted cocoa. I have made mole many times since, and while I try to stay true to the technique Wavi taught me, I must admit to trying new chile combinations.

4–5 large garlic cloves 1 bay leaf

Wash peppers thoroughly. slice and de-seed if you do not want to pack them whole. it is best to wear gloves for this process. dry peppers on a dishtowel. heat a dry cast iron skillet on high heat. add peppers and char slightly, then let cool. put vinegar, sugar, salt, coriander seeds, garlic and bay leaf in pot. Cook until sugar is dissolved. pack peppers in a clean mason jar. pour liquid mixture over peppers. it is helpful to use a funnel for this step. When jars are cool, refrigerate. they are best if they have sat for at least week, and they keep for a month.

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Chiles love the sun and some moisture in the soil, but once they are established in the garden they are quite drought-tolerant. If you grow different chiles together in a garden, be forewarned: Chile types readily interbreed. The bees do not care that you wish to have a no-heat bell pepper, a medium jalapeño and a hot habanero, and may cross-pollinate your chiles as they gather the nectar. One year our “mild” Wonder Bell peppers were quite spicy. We had planted them among the jalapeños, anchos and Serranos, and the result was a hybrid surprise.

Debra Knapke is a teacher, lecturer, garden designer, photographer and gardener. her gardens are eclectic combinations of trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals that she has stuffed into ⅔ of an acre. she is the co-author of five books and is a heartland gardener: heartland-gardening.com.


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policy matters

Bring Home the Bacon Policy changes in Ohio make an impact on locally raised and processed meat by bryn bird

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eat. It’s what’s for dinner, and many folks would like it to be raised and processed here in Central Ohio. Ohioans love pork, beef and chicken—spending $4 billion annually on beef alone, according to the Ohio Beef Council. For that, Ohioans are in luck. Ranked 16th for beef production, Ohio has 17,400 beef farm families producing 463 million pounds of beef each year. 90% of that beef, however, is shipped out of state for slaughter with more than 40,000 head of Ohio cattle eventually exported to the international market.

For many producers and processors, the idea of keeping more of their product revenue, spending less time and money on transportation and keeping livestock processing in-state has recently transformed regional meat processing into a change agent. While consumers and many producers want more locally raised and processed product, a 2012 USDA report on locally sourced meat cited that only 6.9% of livestock farms market directly to local consumers. The question now is: How can we keep more of Ohio’s $4 billion beef spending here at home? Growing up raising beef cattle, hogs and sheep through the 4-H and National FFA programs, I was fortunate to have a glimpse into the world of livestock farming. From the dairy farmers waking up long before the sun every single day, to the hog farmers checking on their sows many times during the night to ensure their safety, livestock producers spend their life breeding, raising, feeding and caring for their animals in order to create the best end product possible. For many, however, despite their desire, their ability to sell directly to the consumer is limited if not barred completely by the lack of local processing, packing and aggregation facilities. Conventional livestock production has been greatly centralized over the past 30 years with 84% of beef slaughter controlled by only four companies. This centralization leaves few options to the small rancher and producer. Our current livestock production and processing model has also led to higher transportation costs, increase in livestock’s environmental impact, more foodborne illnesses and unfair pricing for small producers. These concerns along with potential economic opportunity have led to two significant policy changes in recent years. The first happened in August 2012 when USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan visited Columbus to announce that Ohio would be the first state to participate in USDA's Cooperative Interstate Shipment Program. The program was originally authorized under the 2008 Farm Bill as a part of USDA’s commitment to strengthen regional food systems. Under the program, Ohio's small, state-inspected meat processors are now able to ship

their products across state lines. The cooperative interstate shipment program potentially expands the economic opportunities for Ohio’s 227 state-inspected, small meat and poultry processors. USDA also recently announced the formation of the first Rural Business Investment Company. This for-profit firm will invest in business such as local meat processors that otherwise might not have the capital to increase their local business opportunities. These exciting policy changes could not have come soon enough for many of Ohio’s livestock farmers. Alex Chamberlain from Ohio Pasture Proud said the demand for locally raised and processed meat far exceeds the current supply. Many livestock producers currently working in the confines of the current livestock production model are under large contracts to ship their meat to aggregated feedlots and slaughter facilities outside of the state. By allowing for the expansion and growth of Ohio processing facilities, however, local producers wishing to increase their revenue through the niche local, grass-fed or pasture markets now have more options. One such success story is Smokin’ T’s meat processing in Jefferson, Ohio. The desire for locally processed meat has allowed for the family business to double in recent years. Most of us in Central Ohio know their family as “Oink, Moo, Cluck” and they partner with my family farm. The federal policy change has helped state-inspected facilities such as Oink, Moo, Cluck because of its proximity to Michigan marketplaces. Because of the increased direct-to-consumer market, and a potential Ohio grass-fed beef co-op, they are now able to invest in their shuttered slaughter facility, bring it up to code and begin the process of becoming the region’s only organically certified slaughter facility. Owner Todd Neczeporenko said he was excited that the demand of the niche market will now allow him to double his current employment. At the time of its investment, USDA had not begun its Rural Business Investment Company, but Todd agreed with the continued consumer demand, and now with USDA’s support, more regional processing facilities would be able to open or scale up working to meet demand. By meeting that demand, more producers wishing to sell locally will be able to take advantage of the local market place— a real impact, all from consumer choice and a few very small policy changes.

Bryn Bird is a farm girl hailing from a dirt road outside granville, ohio. she grew up raising livestock and produce on her family’s farm, bird’s haven. she gained a master’s in public health from george Washington University in Washington, dC, and is now empowering the rural lifestyle while working with rural Coalition.

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edible outdoors

Walking in Beauty Summer hikes where nature takes the lead by brooke albrecht photography by eric albrecht

Brooke celebrates a great hike at Pickaway Trail at Canal Park outside of Circleville, Ohio

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have always loved the outdoors. As a young girl, I would spend hours in the creek making creatures out of clay, hunting fossils, drawing flowers or climbing trees. Ohio is the nation’s heartland. It’s approachable, honest and so diverse. You don’t need to venture out of our state for a true escape into Mother Nature. Here are a few of my favorite places to hike and enjoy nature, and hopefully yours, too, once you visit them this summer. Within an easy drive from Columbus are Battelle

Darby Creek, Slate Run Living Historical Farm and

Pickaway County is home to Slate Run Living Historical Farm, a working re-creation of an 1880s farm. You can learn about plowing the fields with a draft horse, canning and preserving crops from the heirloom garden and enjoy watching the farm animals. I especially like the barn where I’ve seen new calves and a mother hen sitting on her nest in a quiet corner. Sometimes, weather permitting, you’ll see simple cotton shirts and striped socks pegged to the clothesline out back. Try the Bobolink Grassland trail where we’ve been known to taste wild blackberries in the summer. This trail has the oldest Osage orange tree, which is more than 100 years old.

Don’t be afraid as you drive your car under Leaning Lena to reach the Fern trailhead at Clear Creek. This hike takes you through countless pines and hemlock. Enjoy looking at the creek, which is clear.

Ohio Caverns is billed as America’s most colorful caverns, and I agree! It’s a timeless place, in Champaign County outside of West Liberty. Pack a picnic, dress in vintage clothing and pretend you’re in the 1950s. Incredible views of rolling hills and a cave tour make a great day. Crystal stalactites and stalagmites offer a fairyland underground. The cave tour ends with an organ recording of the song, “Beautiful Ohio.” The guides might tire of it, but we like the tradition.

Nearby to Serpent Mound is Buzzardroost Rock trail, owned by the Nature Conservatory and part of their Edge of Appalachia Preserve System. I love this hike for the workout and the view. Hike through the woods that take you to a top of a giant limestone cliff. You’ll be close to many high-flying buzzards. The panoramic scene from the cliff is a treasured place to admire the fall colors. You can enjoy Amish stands nearby at Miller’s, or Keim Family Market.

For a longer day trips or an overnight, try Adams County in southeast Ohio. Serpent Mound is the largest surviving example of a prehistoric effigy mound in the world. I like to imagine what the view from the serpent head must have been like when the ancients built it thousands of years ago. The head of the serpent is aligned to the summer solstice sunset.

Ohio Caverns. Battelle Darby and Slate Run are two

of Franklin County’s metro parks. Ohio Caverns is located on privately owned land outside of West Liberty. Battelle Darby Creek Metro is the largest in the Columbus Metro Parks system with about 7,000 acres. For years while our dog, George, was hiking-fit, we would take him to Wagtail trail, which goes through fields and woods to the Big Darby Creek at the bottom. Close to creek side is a big sycamore so large, with a teardrop entrance you can fit yourself and your dreams inside it. When you visit, watch all the bison before touring the Nature Center. I love their 53-footlong living stream with fish, reptiles, mussels and amphibians—all naturally found in the Darby Creek watershed. When hiking one of the many trails near Darby Creek, I am enchanted with purple mussel shells.

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For rock formations and views minus the crowds of Hocking Hills, try Christmas Rock Nature Preserve in Fairfield County, or Clear Creek Metro Park bordering both Fairfield and Hocking. Christmas Rock includes a trail called Jacob’s Ladder, a shear wall of sandstone rock formations that invite you to keep climbing up to an unforgettable view.

These are just a few of my favorite haunts. I hope this summer you’ll enjoy some of them and also discover some paths of your own. For more information, check out TrekOhio, trekohio.com, and Ohio Department of Natural Resources, ohiodnr.gov.


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behind the Bottle

Columbus

Craft Brews The rise of local breweries offers solid craft beer in spades by nicolene schwartz, photography by Catherine murray

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f you like your beer local, it’s a really good time to be in Central Ohio. Against the backdrop of Columbus’s three longstanding local breweries, Elevator Brewery, Columbus Brewing Company and Barley’s Brewing Company, which for years represented the whole of the city’s (well-loved) local beer scene, an impressive new crop of independent breweries is taking root. In a remarkably short span, the successes of operations like Seventh Son Brewing, Four String Brewing Company, North High Brewing, Rockmill Brewery and Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery—and numerous excellent others—have established the quality of their products within a region of increasingly interested and adventurous beer drinkers. While Columbus boasts a formidable pro-local mindset across a range of industries, when Ohio Craft Brewers Association executive director Mary Martineau describes the culture surrounding and contributing to Columbus’s newly robust craft beer offerings, it begins to illustrate how well the collective dynamic of these breweries fits within a city that takes pride in supporting products made close to home.

“There is definitely a level of excitement and openness [surrounding craft beer], as evidenced by the birth of businesses like Columbus Brew Adventures, who will load you and a passel of friends into a cargo van and introduce you to brewers around the city,” she explained. Although an excellent way to engage customers, too, this culture of accessibility tends to be deeply rooted in the operations of many smaller breweries, whose successes in gaining a following are often achieved quite literally one customer at a time: Dan Cochran of Four String Brewery in Grandview, distributed his first production out of the back of his SUV; Matthew Barbee, owner

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knowing a beer by style can help you identify aspects of the beer’s character and manner of production, shine some light on the beer’s historical context and, of course, guide the industrious beer enthusiast who may have found a favorite brew toward others of its kind. here are a few classic styles to know: American Stout: this beer’s typically deep, roasted flavor (achieved through a longer roasting time for the grains) is often complimented with flavors such as coffee or chocolate. IPA: india pale ale. originally produced by england as an export to india, this beer’s traditional tangy bite comes from its high concentration of hops (flowers of the hop plant), which impart bitterness and act as a natural preservative—necessary in stabilizing the beer for its long trek. Saison: originating in southern belgium, saisons were brewed in the winter for consumption in the summer. as in the case of ipas, hops helped to preserve this style until it was ready for drinking. their dry, spicy notes are underscored by the fact that fermentation traditionally comes from the wild yeast strains naturally occurring in the brewing environment, resulting in saisons’ characteristic complexity. Wheat Beer: as the name would suggest, these beers are characterized by the higher proportion of wheat used in brewing as compared to the typically barley-heavy grain profiles of other ales or lagers. traditionally, botanicals such as orange peel and coriander impart a characteristic flavor profile. to learn more about ohio Craft brewer’s association and our local breweries, visit ohiocrftabeer.org. and mark your calendar for ohio brew Week, July 11-16 in athens, ohio, where breweries from across the state come together to promote and celebrate craft brews. ohiobrewweek.com. Ohio Craft Brewers Association’s executive director, Mary MacDonald, enjoying a local beer at Seventh Son Brewing Co.

of Lancaster’s Rockmill Brewery, still delivers each bottle of his farmhouse-style ales in person; and until the recent opening of their tap room, Zauber Brewing Company offered very popular evening and weekend growler-filling opportunities for their customers. Collectively, these opportunities for face-to-face interaction with the person brewing your beer, have, not surprisingly, helped to develop a sizable section of Central Ohio’s beer drinking community that is interested not just in supporting their particular favorite brewery, but in supporting craft beer in general. And so far, Central Ohio’s craft beer boom of recent years, by the numbers, is still creating far more demand than it can satisfy—which, according to Seventh Son head brewer Colin Vent, sets the stage for even better beer-making and beer-drinking. “Our per-capita production [of craft beer] is way under per-capita consumption,” Colin explained. “That’s nice for everyone involved because it fosters less competition on the craft level— there’s room for all of us right now.” And while an environment of less-than-stringent competition may seem a counterintuitive route to top-quality products, in the beer world, creativity and camaraderie tend to handily fill that void. “Numerous [craft] brewers like to push the boundaries of what is considered a certain style and ex-

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ercise their creativity to explore options far beyond the standard categories,” Mary said. “Just when you think you’ve had the most awesome, unusual, outrageous beer, someone goes and creates something that blows craft beer lovers’ minds.” Colin noted that smaller production offers more flexibility to brewers who want to stray from the beaten path with the styles and flavor profiles of their beers—a hallmark of craft breweries generally—and the ability to experiment on a small scale can mean more agility in maintaining fresh, interesting offerings. While success for much larger breweries may depend on their staple products—a yearly Oktoberfest, or the reliable flavor of a top-selling lager, for example—craft beer drinkers tend to seek out precisely the kind of unique experience the brewers take such care in developing and delivering; it’s a culture that gravitates toward the unexpected. A look at the kinds of beer being produced by local breweries underscores that notion: While a sense of commitment to local products might be enough to encourage consumers to forgo a standard pilsner for one made nearby, Columbus beer drinkers are making extremely popular items out of less predictable choices. Seventh Son has based its robust success on the commitment to making beers with unique and interesting flavor profiles, illustrated by their first couple of brews out of the gate—a strong ale and a stout,

each a couple of tasty clicks off of a standard presentation. Similarly, Rockmill’s stable of farmhouse-style ales is uniformly, enthusiastically well-received; Four Strings Brewery’s popular offerings have included less-standard varieties like a white IPA, a red ale and a vanilla porter. When I ask Chris Anthony, head chef at Arch City and avid home brewer, for some insight into Columbus’s craft beer scene, he tells me without hesitation that Central Ohio is where the notable beer city, San Diego, was maybe eight or 10 years ago, and it’s clear from his delivery that the comparison is a profound compliment. “We aren’t just accepting craft beer here, but we’re expecting and demanding it,” he said. And we’re being well rewarded for our efforts.

a graduate of the University of Washington in seattle, Nicolene Schwartz moved from new york City to Columbus in 2008. she consults and develops cocktails for a number of local outfits, including rigsby’s kitchen, moJoe lounge and Watershed distillery. When not working, nicolene is rehabbing the medical-office-turned-unusualhome she shares near franklin park with partner, scot, and dogs mavis and trout.


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worth the trip

Meet Me in Cincinnati

513 {Eats} creator Gina Weathersby serves up her favorite edible day-trip destinations in the Queen City

by Colleen leonardi & gina Weathersby, photography by gina Weathersby

Cincinnati’s Music Hall across the street from Washington Park in the Over the Rhine neighborhood. Tents stand tall at the city flea market day held in Washington Park.

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Gina Weathersby created 513 {Eats} out of pure passion for Cincinnati and “telling visual stories about food, places and the people behind it.” We’ve admired her work from afar, and when we thought about what to do on a summer day trip to the Queen City, we knew Gina would know all the right spots to eat, shop and savor the local flavors. She shares her must-do destinations with us, starting at a quaint French café and ending at a spoton seafood restaurant right here in the Midwest. Enjoy tasting your way through Cincinnati this summer. —CL

A French Morning The French Crust Café Co-owner, pastry chef and chocolatier Jean Philippe Solnom (top left) stands outside this charming little breakfast and lunch café co-owned by Chef Jean-Robert de Cavel, chef and owner of Jean-Robert’s Table. The French Crust Café offers a very inviting, simple, casual French atmosphere where the food is flavorful and unfussy, like dishes you would expect from a little village. Featured here is a fresh French apple tart. 915 Vine St., Cincinnati; 513-621-2013; jrtable.com/french-crust-cafe/

Market Time Northside Farmers Market & Carriage House Farm

This Wednesday-night farmers market hosts one of Gina’s favorite farms, Carriage House Farm, owned by Richard Stewart’s family for almost 160 years. Kate Cook, who is the garden manager as well as being an organic garden expert, and her daughter Sophia were on hand during Gina’s visit (middle left). Carriage House offers a wide variety of zero-spray produce including heirloom corn products milled for cornmeal and polenta as well as artisanal products, such as the nasturtium capers (lower left). It also supplies a dozen regional restaurants with their produce, grains and honey. 4222 Hamilton Ave. in the North Presbyterian Church Auditorium, Cincinnati; facebook.com/cincinorthsidefarmersmarket The Findlay Market & Colonel D’s Gourmet Spices

If you love food and are in Cincinnati, a visit to the Findlay Market is a must. Built in 1852, the market is Ohio’s oldest “surviving municipal market house.” If you have a taste for spices, be sure to visit Colonel D of Colonel D’s Spices (bottom right). If you pick any spice, he can almost on the spot come up with a use or recipe

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for you and loves to have you try everything. Findlay Market also hosts a farmers market on Saturdays from 8am–2pm and on Sundays from 10am–2pm through November. 1801 Race St., Cincinnati; findlaymarket.org Lunch at Pho Lang Thang Located at the Findlay Market, this Vietnamese restaurant offers a variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes full of flavor with outdoor seating where you can enjoy your meal amidst the activity of the market. Flavorful, fresh and reasonably priced. Featured here is the soup Pho Bo Tai + Bo Vien. 1801 Race St., Cincinnati; findlaymarket.org/merchants/pholang-thang Madisono’s Gelato and Sorbet This is Cincinnati’s first gelato company producing both gelatos and sorbets using the finest ingredients sourced locally and internationally, selling both to retailers and wholesale to restaurants. With flavor combinations such as Honey Lavender, Lemon Basil, Dark Chocolate Orange and Madacascar Vanilla, you’ll want to bring some home in pints from Madisono’s at Findlay Market. 1801 Race St., Cincinnati; findlaymarket.org/merchants/madisonos-atfindlay-market; madisonosgelato.blogspot.com/

For Your Pet Pet Wants If you’re looking to treat your furry loved one after treating yourself to Madisono’s Gelato, Pet Wants offers “gourmet pawsicles for the pups.” With names like Omega Booster and Tummy Booster, these frozen treats are made without preservatives, using all-natural ingredients such pink salmon, chia seeds, lavender and pumpkin. They even have one called Snooze Booster to help calm and relax your dog. Even the sticks are edible. 1801 Race St., Cincinnati; findlaymarket.org/merchants/pet-wants

Food Trucks & The City Flea An urban-curated market featuring everything from home goods to fashion and art, the 2014 City Flea is scheduled for June 14, July 12, August 16, September 20 and October 11 right in the heart of the Over the Rhine (OTR) neighborhood at Washington Park. While you’re shopping, take a break and savor some of the local food truck fare such as Fireside Pizza, EAT! and Taco Azul, all featured here. Each food truck lists the times and places they’ll be throughout the city all summer long. thecityflea.com;

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firesidepizzawagon.com; eatmobiledining.com; tacoazul.com

Duo Dinners Salazar Restaurant & Bar Located in OTR, this

New American restaurant created by Chef Jose Salazar (middle left) features a fresh, seasonally inspired menu with local ingredients as well as craft beers, cocktails and wines. As Gina shared in a recent blog post, “Chef Salazar has created a warm, embracing environment with the timeless, neighborhood vibe of an establishment that wears the comfort of having been around for years, as well as, of course, serving up quality, flavorful, beautifully prepared food.” Featured here are a selection of starters, including Blue Oven Breads with Tuscan olive oil and marrow butter, little fried oyster sandwiches and a salad of local farm greens. 1401 Republic St., Cincinnati; 513-621-7000; salazarcincinnati.com The Anchor OTR Moving his family and food

business from Brooklyn to Cincinnati, Chef Derek dos Anjos (lower left) pairs fresh, seasonal, flavorful seafood combinations to create beautiful and original offerings. With outdoor dining open to Washington Park, his restaurant is communityoriented, lively and offers a casual dining atmosphere. The lobster is fire-grilled and served with sweet pea pancakes, clarified butter and lemon. We’re thrilled to feature one of Chef dos Anjos’ recipes for pan seared diver sea scallops with roasted sweet summer corn, peas, miso butter, bacon and roasted onions (see page 40 for recipe). Enjoy his signature approach to seafood in Cincinnati, or at home. 1401 Race St., Cincinnati; 513-421-8111; theanchor-otr.com

Gina Weathersby is an award-winning artist and professional photographer based out of Cincinnati, ohio where she lives with her husband and daughters. she runs two separate businesses (portrait and food), three blogs and has produced four food magazines. gina contributes regularly to editorials, food stock photography, has been published internationally, and most recently, has fallen uncontrollably in love with creating “food narratives” for her food world clients. learn more at ginaweathersby.com.

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Pan Seared Diver Sea Scallops with Roasted Sweet Summer Corn, Peas, Miso Butter, Bacon & Roasted Onions Recipe courtesy of Chef Derek dos Anjos serves 4

12 U-10 diver sea scallops 2 heaping tablespoons shiro (white) miso 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature 6 slices smoky bacon cut crosswise into 1- to 1½- inch long batons (about 1 cup) 1 tablespoon grape seed or other neutral oil 4 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 4–5 cobs) 4 tablespoons shucked english peas heaping ¼ cup roasted white onions (cut lengthwise and sautéed in butter until brown and caramelized) kosher salt and black pepper to taste For miso butter Combine the miso with the butter in a small bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until well mixed. the butter should be one homogenous color. set aside until needed. For scallops preheat the oven to 425°. heat a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. add the bacon and cook until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crispy, about 4 minutes. remove the bacon from the pan; reserve the skillet with the remaining bacon fat to cook the corn. pat the scallops dry and season with salt and pepper. heat grape seed oil in a large, oven-proof skillet over high heat until smoking then turn down the heat to just below medium. add the scallops and sear until golden brown on one side, about 2 minutes. Without moving the scallops, transfer the pan to the 425° oven and roast until done, about 1 minute more. add the corn kernels to the bacon pan and sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. add the roasted onions, peas and miso butter; stir to combine and melt the butter. season to taste. divide the corn and scallops among four plates and serve immediately.

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from the kitchen

A Simple Summer by sarah lagrotteria, photography by ryan benyi

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ecause it’s a year-round culinary workhorse—seasoning braised meats and roasted winter vegetables as beautifully as grilled fish—thyme feels less precious than summer’s fragile basil and mint leaves. But hold a flowering stem in your hand and you’ll know: Fresh thyme leaves are as herbaceous, delicate and green as your other favorite summer herbs. Here, the thyme brings a green note to classic lemonade and emphasizes the sweetness of summer fruit with its soft savor. If you can find blooming thyme, the pink flowers make a gorgeous garnish.

Sparkling Thyme Lemonade serves 4

1 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice (about 8 lemons) ¾ cup thyme simple syrup, chilled (recipe below) 2½ cups sparkling water (e.g., pellegrino), chilled 4 flowering thyme stems, for garnish stir together the lemon juice and simple syrup in a large pitcher. add the sparkling water. pour over ice in tall glasses and garnish with a sprig of flowering thyme. Thyme Simple Syrup makes approximately 1 cup 1 cup sugar 1 cup water 1 bunch fresh thyme Combine all three ingredients in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. bring to a boil and simmer until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. remove from the heat and let cool. discard thyme and strain the syrup to remove any loose leaves. store in refrigerator for up to one week. this recipe makes enough for one recipe of sparkling thyme lemonade and one recipe of the crostata on page 45.

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Goat Cheese with Sautéed Cherries, Pistachios and Fresh Thyme 8 ounces soft goat cheese, room temperature 1 cup fresh summer cherries, cut in half and pitted 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons good quality extra-virgin olive oil ½ cup pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme mound the goat cheese into a pretty serving dish. gently drag the back of a spoon through the soft cheese, forming peaks and valleys to cradle the cherries and pistachios. Warm 1 tablespoon olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. add the cherry halves and sauté until the fruit is fragrant and just beginning to caramelize, about 5 minutes. spoon the warm cherries over and around the goat cheese, using enough to look abundant but leaving some cheese peeking through. you’ll want cherry in every bite, so serve what’s left alongside the dish or replenish as the cherries are eaten. sprinkle with chopped pistachios and thyme and drizzle with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil. serve immediately with good crackers and toasted bread slices.

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Nectarine and Blueberry Crostata with Polenta Crust (adapted from Bon Appétit Magazine) serves 8

Crust 1⅔ cups all-purpose flour ¼ cup polenta (coarse cornmeal) 3½ tablespoons sugar Zest of 1 orange ¾ teaspoon salt 14 tablespoons (1¾ sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes ⅓ cup (or more) ice water

Filling and baking 3 teaspoons thyme simple syrup (see recipe on page 43) 2 teaspoons cornstarch ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract 4 medium nectarines, each pitted and cut into 16 slices 1 pint blueberries 1 egg, lightly beaten sugar in the raw, for sprinkling

For crust pulse the first five ingredients (flour through salt) in the bowl of a food processor. add the chilled butter and pulse until butter is just reduced to pea-size pieces. add ⅓ cup ice water and continue pulsing until the dough comes together in wet clumps. turn out the dough onto a parchment paper sheet and roll into a ball. flatten, wrap and chill for at least one hour and up to 24. let the dough soften to near-room temperature. roll on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper to a 14inch round, turning dough occasionally to prevent sticking. place the parchment on a baking sheet. transfer the dough on the parchment to the refrigerator. Chill until dough firms slightly, about 30 minutes.

For filling and baking stir together the simple syrup, cornstarch and vanilla in a medium-sized bowl. fold in the fruit and let stand until juices are released, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. preheat the oven to 375°. transfer the baking sheet with dough to work surface. spoon fruit and juices into the center of the dough. spread fruit into an even 10inch diameter layer in the center of the tart. brush the remaining 2-inch border with egg wash. gently fold the border up and over the edge of the fruit, overlapping crust when necessary to create a pleat. brush the crust with the remaining egg wash and sprinkle with sugar in the raw. bake until crust is golden brown and fruit filling is bubbling at edges, about 50 minutes. remove from oven; slide large metal spatula under tart to loosen from parchment. slide tart onto a rack to cool. serve warm or at room temperature.

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local foodshed

Flying Horse Farms A camp for children with serious illnesses where each meal is filled with lots of local love by Colleen leonardi, photography by amy Carruthers

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aul Newman would be proud. That’s right. Paul Newman the actor, philanthropist and Ohio native who one day had the vision of a camp for children with serious illnesses where they would not be defined by a disease but by their spirit, their desire to “raise a little hell” and a community devoted to adventure and love.

Newman’s vision was born in 1988 as The SeriousFun Children’s Network. And in Mt. Gilead, Ohio, on 200 acres lives one of its 30 global camps for children. Flying Horse Farms (FHF) in Mt. Gilead is the first camp in the Midwest to become a member The SeriousFun Children’s Network. Founded in 2011, the camp serves children ages 7–18 and their families from all over the Midwest in the spring, summer and fall months. Children who attend suffer from illnesses like arthritis, cancer, heart and kidney disease, gastrointestinal diseases, bleeding disorders and craniofacial anomalies. As a nonprofit organization, the camp depends on volunteers from nine different hospitals throughout Ohio, and Pittsburgh, and others to work throughout the season. “It’s not that children say ‘Thanks for a wonderful time.’ It’s that they say ‘Thanks for changing my life,’” said Newman of his SeriousFun Network. I felt the life-changing power of the place and people when I visited FHF, and

I was reminded how food is an intrinsic part of enhancing the lives of children, families and communities. Enter Francie Wooster, camp cook in chief, a.k.a. the Culinary Fairy. Francie loves good food. If Newman were still around, I imagine he and Francie would have a grand old time in the kitchen cooking together. While FHF uses a lot of Newman’s Own products in the camp menu, Francie and her team have pursued local farmers, producers and vendors throughout Ohio to source the best ingredients possible for the campers. And they’ve done a good job of it. Mid-Ohio Food Bank, various local free-range chicken and turkey donors, Cherbourg Gluten-Free Bakery, Kroger, Morrow County Cattleman’s Association and others all donate food year-round. Francie also loves the camp garden. She grows fresh lettuces, herbs, tomatoes and flowers during the growing season for the staff. They’ve also integrated a composting system and other sustainability efforts into the camp’s programming to provide kids with fun ways to engage with cooking and growing their own food. I wanted to learn more from Francie about how camp food can be locally sourced, fresh and in season, and, most importantly, tasty enough for the kids to want to come back for more. Read on and learn what makes the Culinary Fairy’s camp food at FHF so special. —CL

Above: The legend of the Big Red Barn began on a local family’s property in 1913, where it stood before being disassembled piece-by-piece and transported to the Flying Horse Farms land where it lives today. Thanks to AEP, Jenni and David Belford and The Charles and Charlotte Fowler Family Foundation for bringing the Big Red Barn to camp.

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Q: What’s your mission as the head of camp food at Flying Horse Farms? Francie Wooster: As the Culinary Fairy (food services director) at Flying Horse Farms, my most essential mission is for our campers to eat meals that nourish their bodies so that they can fish, canoe, play and make the most of their day at camp. We cook food specific for each diagnoses, and cater to any and all dietary restrictions. We believe food is an important part of our campers’ wellness, and we want to make that experience as fun and memorable as possible. I’m lucky that campers come to each meal very hungry. I use that opportunity to serve fun, nutrient-rich, delicious food. I add zucchini to our brownies, carrots in our sloppy joes, and I’m trying a new recipe that sneaks butternut squash into our mac and cheese. Many of our campers try new foods for the first time and find out they love wild rice and spinach, or even kale salad (they eat it up, I swear). My goal is for Flying Horse Farms to be a place where kids want to eat their vegetables.

Q: What role does locally produced food play in your menus? FW: Locally produced and sourced food plays a vital role in defining our camp menu. Our camp food program is sustained by the local community. Because we are supported in large part by food donations, our menu is always revolving around what we receive and what we grow. We have a 15bed vegetable garden at camp where we grow our own salad mix, watermelon and variety of other herbs, fruits and vegetables. We are agency partners with the Mid-Ohio Food Bank and receive lots of free produce from them that inspires our menu.

This week Mid-Ohio Food Bank had cabbage, tomatoes and cucumbers—so I added coleslaw and a tomato-cucumber salad to our menu, to be served with sloppy joes. Whether it’s Glimcher turkeys, strawberries from Granny B Farms, fresh corn from a volunteer’s family farm or produce from the MidOhio Food Bank, I’m always happy to incorporate news foods into our menu.

Q: How does your menu reflect the seasons from spring to summer to fall? FW: I keep our menus as seasonal as possible. When it’s tomato season— you’ll know it. Come mid-summer, you’ll see lots of menu items with tomatoes, such as tomato pie, tomato tarts, tomato salads and tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches (a huge camp favorite). One of the many benefits of using seasonal food is that it keeps me on my toes.

Q: How does Paul Newman’s mission and devotion to good food inform and inspire your cooking for the kids at camp? FW: We often tell the story of how Paul Newman started making small batches of salad dressing in his home, and bottled it as holiday gifts for his neighbors. Soon Paul’s neighbors were all knocking on his door—begging for more. And so Newman’s Own was born. What I find most inspiring about Paul is that he made food people loved but also cared enough to make it with quality, healthy ingredients. That’s exactly what I’m trying to do at camp. My dream is to make memorable meals for campers. I want our campers to enjoy the food. I want them to know and love these recipes. I want them to

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make these meals again and again throughout their lives—because each time they are reminded of the happiness of camp. Like Paul, I always choose to cook with whole, natural foods. The meals I prepare are colorful and fresh, made with healthy foods including quinoa, spinach, kale, broccoli, tomatoes, squash and peppers (just to name a few!). Sometimes the meals are a new experience for our campers, sometimes they are familiar favorites—either way, they are always excited to eat at camp.

Q: What’s one of your favorite summer recipes that you would like to share with our readers? FW: Flying Horse Farms Broccoli Salad (visit ediblecolumbus.com for the recipe) is a long-standing camp favorite. Because we serve so many campers with dietary restrictions I strive to create recipes that everyone can enjoy. We changed the standard broccoli salad and made it vegetarian, dairy free and kid-friendly! It’s a party on your plate—with green broccoli, orange shredded carrots, magenta dried cranberries, yellow dried apricots and roasted sunflower seeds. Broccoli salad is such a huge camp favorite that the father of one of our camper families called to get the recipe. He gathered all the ingredients, secretly made the salad and surprised his whole family with it at Thanksgiving. Flying Horse Farms 5260 state route 95, mt. gilead, ohio 43338; 419-751-7077; flyinghorsefarms.org.

Colleen Leonardi is a writer, teacher, choreographer and managing editor and editor of Edible

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Top: Campers Rachel Dawson, Justice Baker and Emilee Clites fill their bellies with Francie’s famous Camp Chili and Mac & Cheese Bottom: The Culinary Fairy, Francie Wooster: “I want them to make these meals again and again throughout their lives—because each time they are reminded of the happiness of camp.”


Calling All Farmers, Food Producers & Chefs! flying horse farms accepts food donations and is open to partnerships in the community. they’re also looking to offer cooking classes for the kids with local chefs. if you’re interested in learning more about their programs and would like to contribute and get involved, please contact Ceo mimi dane at 419-7517077, or by email at mimi@flyinghorsefarms.org.

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from the good earth

Green Edge Gardens One farm’s year-round CSA extends the season and community in the Appalachian foothills by Claire hoppens, photography by sarah Warda

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he spring rains and summer sun are generous, to be sure, but Kip and Becky Rondy are in the business of outsmarting the seasons.

At Green Edge Gardens, the Rondy’s farm in Amesville, Ohio, a year-round growing season fuels a year-round CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), supplies the Athens farmers market, fulfills long-standing wholesale relationships and employs a full-time staff of 11. It’s a methodology that the Rondys have employed since taking over Green Edge Gardens in 2004 after a decade-long stint in horticulture. “We had a couple greenhouses already and set up a couple more. We realized we can extend the season dramatically,” said Kip. “A little bit of skill and a whole lot of luck fell into it.”

What began as one high tunnel is today, 10, all of them stretched through a grassy valley at the heart of the farm. High tunnels, constructed by stretching plastic over a half circle of bowed piping, create a greenhouse effect for the contents within. Solar radiation alone heats the interior of the tunnel, while humidity and temperature can be adjusted by rolling up or down the plastic sides. Plant growth inside the high tunnels is stimulated by the warmth of the sun year round. Growing through all seasons, “allows us to keep our employees year-round, not constantly re-training people, and that’s a real important thing. Plus, we get a premium for our vegetables in the winter,” said Kip. The benefits of season creation, beside extended harvests, are present in Kip and Becky’s commitment to their team. Most farming jobs are structured

around a singular growing season, where work is temporary and turnover is common. “Our goal is to establish a retention pattern, looking at getting cost down and wages and benefits up,” said Kip. “When you have that core of people that are committed, you can start to use everybody’s talents.” For instance, when Green Edge team member, Natalie, suggested they try growing ginger, Kip embraced the idea. It was an all-around success, and a profitable crop. It’s farming like this that “allows people to stay and develop their own potentials—and everybody has potential,” said Kip.

Green Edge Gardens, with pockets of dense forest and intermittent fields, is a brilliant emerald in summer. Settled amidst Appalachian foothills, the farm is surrounded by intensely lush peaks. Humidity hangs low, and the sun follows suit. Although he has farmed in West Virginia, Kip said there’s nowhere else he’d rather be. “There are good transportation routes and community, especially since Athens is so pro-food and pro-small farm.” A means of mutual support for Kip and his community, and a vehicle for superb summer produce, is the Green Edge Garden CSA program known as the “Athens Hill CSA.” Community Supported Agriculture is, according to Green Edge Gardens’ website, “a unique collaboration between farmer, land and community members. Members of a community purchase a “farm share” for the growing season in return for a weekly portion of the farm’s harvest throughout the season.”

Clockwise from top left: The farm’s Mazda truck hauls tomato starts from one of the upper greenhouses down to the start house for transplant; Intern Kyle Strohl hauls tomato stakes through one of the farm’s 10 high tunnels; Interns Keely Hultz and Grace Kroeger drive in tomato stakes in one of the farms many high tunnels; basil in one of Green Edge’s many green houses; Paula Gerdeman harvests asparagus; and Natalie Horvath plants pepper starts.

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“those people are doing as much to change the way things are going in agriculture as the farms are,” he added. “it’s a 50/50 partnership.”

Miranda Kridler, CSA coordinator for Green Edge Gardens, explained that since its launch in 2006, the CSA “provides a really wonderful way to connect directly with our customers.” Green Edge Gardens prepares its CSA for just under 250 families in the winter, and around 200 in the summer months. Shareholders choose between a full, certified organic vegetable share for a 20-week delivery or half share, delivered biweekly. There are pick-up locations across Athens, Columbus and Belpre. Green Edge partners with a bevy of local food producers that participants may add to their produce share. A “combination share” contains seasonal vegetables, plus fruit from Cherry Orchards, cheese from Integration Acres, fresh-baked bread from The Village Bakery, a gallon of Snowville milk and eggs from High Bottom Farm. An a la carte “sweet” share includes Sticky Pete’s maple syrup and Cantrell honey. A “staple” share brings Shagbark Seed & Mill popcorn and heirloom beans. A CSA, from a consumer perspective, is an exercise in resourcefulness. “It’s a big commitment,” said Kip. “You have to be extremely organized. Things have to be cooked.” “Those people are doing as much to change the way things are going in agriculture as the farms are,” he added. “It’s a 50/50 partnership.” Both Kip and Miranda cite the weather as the ultimate challenge for a CSA producer. “It’s very important to grow slowly and manage expectations,” said Miranda. “We’re always trying to assess what our strengths are, and what our community is looking for.” Kip noted that the CSA pattern is in flux. The challenge is “trying to figure out what customers want and how we can meet those needs,” he said. “It’s a dynamic thing.” With the CSA, lasting emotional rewards follow prolonged physical work. “At the end of a day, when we’ve packed food for 200 families and everything is in the cooler and ready to go, there is something so satisfying about that process, to be a part of something doing good,” said Miranda.

Innovation on the farm is spawned by commitments like the CSA, where more than 400 local families share everything from beets to microgreens and summer squash. Since the new, young ginger proved fruitful last year, the Green Edge team will grow fresh turmeric this summer, “another root that is not readily available as a local product,” according to Miranda. Green Edge also supplies to a devoted clientele at the year-round Athens Farmers Market, and to restaurants in Athens and Columbus.

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Kip and Becky are fixtures. At the market, they are as desirable as their produce. It’s an important point of connection, where the public gets a chance to shake hands and share words with very busy farmers. Something about the Green Edge spirit, be it kindness, quality or loyalty, comes up again and again in their home community and in Columbus, where Kip makes personal deliveries all Wednesday, every Wednesday. “If I leave around 6:30am and get back at 7:30pm or 8:30pm I’ve done okay,” he said. Stops might include the Northstar Cafés, Worthington Inn, Skillet, the Greener Grocer and Basi Italia. John Dornback, chef and co-owner of Basi Italia, has worked with Kip and Becky for 10 years. From Green Edge Gardens, John has sourced greens, lettuces, sprouts, nuts, berries and tomatoes, among other things. “Kip and Becky and their whole team have provided us a steady, thoughtful and conscientious palette of fresh goods to work with and provide our customers with the best Ohio has to offer,” John said. “Becky has always been there for us when we needed something and Kip always arrives at the restaurant with a smile on his face no matter what challenges he has faced that day,” he added. “They just both always do their best and we appreciate that so much.”

Farming for the good of the Earth, for the future of the Earth, is engrained in Kip and Becky’s processes. So it was no surprise when the Rondys were presented the 2014 OEFFA Stewardship Award at this February’s conference. The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association recognized Kip and Becky for their commitment to sustainable agricultural practices. “Kip served on OEFFA’s certification committee in the late 1980s and early 1990s,” noted Becky. “I was on the board as education chair for some groups,” she said. “That’s how we met.” The goal for Kip and Becky is to be financially and environmentally sustainable. It is also to develop a strong, stable farm team. And as Kip explained, there is potential to revitalize the town of Amesville by growing business there, and recreating an infrastructure that once stood strong. “It’s about building community, that’s what it’s all about,” said Kip. “The community won’t look like it did in 1930s and 1940s, but it will be something we can recognize.” Green Edge Gardens 16232 henry road, amesville, ohio, 45711; 740-448-4021; greenedgegardens.com.

raised in a nomadic and adventurous family, Claire Hoppens called five states home and attended three colleges before earning her degree in magazine journalism from the scripps school at ohio University in 2011. Claire is currently a managing partner for northstar Cafe, one of the many Columbus mainstays to solidify her love of people, food and our vibrant city.

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The Activist Itch Why co-ops in Central Ohio are communities fighting the good food fight by nicole rasul, photography by Jodi miller

“We are more than just a grocery store, we are a community,” noted Near East Side Cooperative Market Manager Katy Macke, as her eyes scanned shelves lined with fruits, vegetables and whole grains in a store front in Columbus’ Olde Towne East neighborhood. Born out of an anti-corporate, collective-ownership philosophy, food cooperatives, or co-ops, are member-owned with some consumers choosing to purchase a share in the store in exchange for discounts on merchandise. Members collectively make operating decisions, such as sourcing and marketing, through a board of directors. In Central Ohio, annual membership at one of the three co-ops costs anywhere from $20 to $75 per year. The Near East Side Cooperative Market, the Clintonville Community Market and the Bexley Natural Market are Central Ohio’s three food co-ops. Rooted in community, the co-ops offer shoppers an alternative grocery store experience. Though their missions may vary, in general, food co-ops focus on the sale of natural, local or organic products. Trey Henthorn, general manager of the Clintonville Community Market, noted: “When you belong to a co-op, it belongs to you.” Though grocery co-ops date back to the 19th century, their birth in the United States is rooted in the counter-culture movement of the 1960s. According to the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Cooperatives, a resurgence in the growth of food co-ops has taken place over the past two decades with nearly 350 food co-ops in operation across the country today. With the emergence of booming natural, local and organic food scenes, however, some co-ops have faced diminishing sales and have had to market themselves competitively in the ever-expanding American grocery store landA day at the Clintonville Community Market with regular market-goers and staff

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scape. Nevertheless, a little competition is often a good thing, especially when it comes to raising consumer awareness. “The more that a consumer becomes aware of their food choices, the more there is a demand for places that are geared towards healthier food. The demand that some of the bigger stores seek to meet brings more awareness to the natural and organic food communities, which in turn benefits us,” Diane Flowers, marketing director at the Bexley Natural Market, explained. Central Ohio’s three food co-ops stay afloat by not only serving their members, but by selling to the general public who make up a significant portion of their sales. In 2013, 60% of all sales at the Clintonville Community Market were to non-members.

The markets were founded, and continue to operate, under the guiding principle of an “activist itch.” As Ethan Roberts, a member of the Clintonville Community Market explained, “I like supporting an independently owned, democratically run, small-scale store. I personally feel like I’m scratching the activist itch, at least to a modest degree, by shopping here. The products that I buy at the co-op—regionally-sourced, organic, allnatural, vegan, eco-friendly—provide me with a sort of armchair-environmentalist sense of being better connected to local farmers, food artisans and even with the Earth itself.” The cooperative business structure, where shoppers make decisions about what is sold at their marketplace, entices many consumers. The Bexley Natural Market was founded in 1977 and is the oldest co-op in Central Ohio. Diane believes that the store’s nearly 40 years of success is rooted in the collective nature of the business.

“The people who shop here do so because there is a sense of ownership behind it, there is a sense of ‘this is my market, this is where I make decisions’,” she noted. Many co-op supporters fundamentally believe in the sense of community that the stores cultivate. Trey speculated that the success of the Clintonville Community Market, which has been in operation in one form or another since the late 1980s, is rooted in having a solid presence in the community. “We conduct educational programs for kids, composting workshops, herb walks; we help people with their gardens; and sometimes we’ll work with local non-profits on fundraising initiatives for them,” Trey said. Lastly, each of Columbus’ co-ops measure their success in not only providing consumers with access to healthy food, but in helping to grow the economic health of the region. The stores focus on local purchasing as much as possible, especially during the harvest season when the stores are overflowing with Ohio-grown fruits and vegetables. “We pride ourselves on being local and organic, however, to me the ‘local’ label is more important than ‘organic’ as we want to keep money in the community and support the local economy as much as we can,” Trey said. Some co-ops do even more. The newest addition to the Columbus co-op landscape is the Near East Side Cooperative Market, which opened in May 2013. The market is unique in that it not only offers community members an alternative grocery experience, but for some members of the community who lack access to transportation, it is a lifeline to healthy living. “Our co-op is different in that we focus on providing healthy food options in an underserved community,” Katy noted.

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According to Partners Achieving Community Transformation (PACT), 55% of Near East Side residents live in poverty and 60% receive SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits. Additionally, the neighborhood is considered a food desert with few healthy options within walking distance for most residents. The Near East Side Cooperative Market is one of the few stores in the neighborhood that offers an array of whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

In planning for future growth and navigating the increasingly complex American grocery store landscape, Central Ohio’s food co-ops focus on their strongest attributes in marketing themselves to consumers. In the current crowded marketplace, it’s critical that consumers understand the impact that a local, collectively owned natural foods store can have on both the physical and economic health of a region. Crucial to the success Central Ohio’s co-ops is outreach to attract new clientele and raise awareness of their role in the marketplace. Diane visits a number of local libraries, farmers markets and neighborhood associations each year to introduce the Bexley Natural Market to new consumers. The market also works with a number of partners to provide unique experiences for shoppers. “We have events in the store and we bring in vendors who sell at the market to speak about their products. This engagement with our local producers

really pays off as most members see the educational experience as a great benefit of shopping here,” Diane said. In mapping the future, the co-ops look at the successes of their sister stores in other regions across the country for sustainable models for Central Ohio. Even though their nearly 40 years of success is a testament to the Bexley Natural Market’s ability to meet the community’s needs, Diane reflected that the store would like to continue to grow through the development of innovative programming. “When I lived in California, there were organic markets on every corner and they weren’t just grocery stores, they were more like a hangout. Beyond just the food-buying experience, the stores were a center where people could come together and meet. We want our co-op to offer the community a similar experience. We want to continue to grow to be a space where community members come together to eat, to learn and to socialize.”

Nicole Rasul loves all things related to food and is especially inquisitive about food history and culture. she and her husband recently move back to ohio, her home state, after many years on the east Coast. they live in Clintonville where they enjoy the farmers market and their backyard garden. Bexley Natural Market: bexleynaturalmarket.org; Clintonville Community Market: communitymarket.org; Near East Side Cooperative Market: neareastsidecoop.org.

Below: The Near East Side Cooperative Market

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Opposite: The Bexley Natural Market


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Little Farm, Big City Over the Fence Farm’s drive to create an urban farm at home in Clintonville by nancy mckibben, photography by Catherine murray

S

ome couples dream of a boat, a trip around the world, a house on the beach. Dan Spurgeon and Jodi Kushins of Clintonville gazed at the unoccupied property next door and dreamed of plowing up the sunny backyard and turning it into an urban farm.

Then the house finally came up for sale, and in November 2013, the property was theirs, with plans for produce in the back, an orchard in the front and Dan’s parents in the house.

Art Meets Farm Jodi grew up in Great Neck, New York, majoring in studio art and art history at Clark University in Wooster, Massachusetts. A stint in an art gallery convinced her to change direction—to the Pratt Institute, where she received her masters in art education. She then taught high school art for three years. One summer, she worked on a farm. “My colleagues thought I was insane,” Jodi said. “I would come home raving about how I saw broccoli actually growing, and one of them would say, ‘Couldn’t you read about that in a book?’”

Above: Owner Dan Spurgeon tending the farm

In 2003, Jodi moved to Columbus to study for her PhD in art education. There she met Dan, a service operations manager for Bruner Corporation. A Columbus native whose parents and grandparents had always gardened, Dan displayed his commitment to growing things with the Sears Craftsman tiller he purchased in the ‘90s, a big, serious machine. Among Dan’s other sterling qualities, Jodi remembered being impressed by the “groundedness” of his living in the home that once belonged to his grandparents. They married, the second time for both, and after six years of gardening at home, moved on to the sunny lot next door.

“Your Academic Side” The farm is a team endeavor, but logistics put Jodi in charge. “Dan can do anything,” she said, “but he’s at work.” With her ready smile and infectious energy, Jodi is a planner and an inveterate autodidact. She enrolled in the pilot Master Urban Farmer workshop series at The Ohio State University (OSU), an intensive seven-week course that covers every aspect of urban farming (see sidebar on page 61). “That’s your academic side.” Dan indicated the stack of gardening books on the kitchen island, well-read by both. Jodi started a blog to record the adventure (see end notes) and began planting seeds under grow lights in the basement and in a cold frame that Dan constructed.

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“I saw this on an email list and wanted to help out,” Clara said. She has a “little raised-bed garden” of her own and energy to spare. “I like to be outside, and I like to meet people with similar interests.” Kneeling to thin a row of radishes and kale are Katie Hughes and her 13year-old daughter Colleen, from Worthington. “This is perfect,” said Katie. “We can plant, and I don’t have to organize anything.” “I love all the good food,” Colleen said. “And it’s fun.” “I like the dirt,” said brother, Liam, 15. He shovels compost from the driveway into a wheelbarrow and trucks it into the waiting garden. Larry Hughes, a Honda engineer, added that the family plans to bike from Worthington next time, making the whole day sustainable. “It’s a great opportunity for the family to work together,” he said, pointing to an enormous, uprooted mulberry stump. “See that? A lot of people helped dig it up, but our family is the one that pulled it out of the ground.”

Living Vicariously Next door, Dan and Jodi’s 3-year-old, Cora, and friend, Maia, play princesses, their games clearly visible to the adults keeping an eye on them.

Jodi Kushins harvesting radishes

Together they worked out a vision for their farm: “... mastering and sharing techniques for growing food that promote self-reliance and sustainability and support our consumption of more fresh and locally harvested foods... a demonstration site for season-extension practices, vertical gardening and permaculture design.” This manifesto appears on the farm’s Over The Fence website, where they also hoped for the help of “family, friends and neighbors.” With their planned layout of 10 14-foot beds and 10 27-foot beds, help was not only a hope, but a need.

“I’m living vicariously with this garden,” said Maia’s mom, Melissa Frueh, who lives near the OSU campus with her husband, Andrew, an artist teaching new media art technology while he finishes his MFA at the university. “Our garden is beer caps and broken bottles. When Jodi talked about the farm, I said, do it, do it! I can’t help myself—just growing vegetables and food is exciting.” Andrew talks as he pounds together compost bins from wooden pallets. “I like composting and worms, that ecosystem. I like how much it reduces trash.” Knowledgeable about garden automation, Andrew set up the farm’s drip irrigation system. “I’d like to put water sensors in the soil to automate the water supply. It saved water when I did it in our garden,” he said. He dreams of doing a case study of the farm involving OSU students, with perhaps a smart phone app that controls irrigation.

It Takes a Neighborhood Dan and Jodi approached friends and neighbors about becoming involved with the farm, a sort of CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) fueled by barter and labor, as well as cash. Those who helped and/or paid in would be rewarded with the farm’s harvest, and Jodi and Dan could purchase the supplies they needed.

“Jodi’s energy helps her keep on top of things here,” Andrew said. “She’s a good leader.”

“When people come to work and see a shed full of supplies, they feel like we’re serious,” Jodi said. The work itself, though, was part of the reward. “There is so much energy out there,” Jodi said. “I organize a work day and people show up—they are getting something out of it besides the veggies.” Case in point: On a sunny but chilly Saturday workday in April, Clara Mourao, 22, an assistant project manager for Cephas Capital Partners, and her husband, Marcio, 34, a post-doc in computational biology, are shifting sod. “I’m the husband of a woman who likes gardening,” he said, smiling. Volunteer Melissa Frueh weeding

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Although Dan is off for part of the day with his teenage children, Rosa and George, who also work on the farm when school activities don’t interfere, he still managed to build trellises for the peas and beans.

Harvest Dreams As Jodi learned in her Urban Farmer workshop at OSU, it’s harder to grow a diversity of crops. Still, she and Dan have plans for several varieties of: kale, lettuce, chard, beets, garlic, onion, sweet potatoes, radishes, carrots, tomatoes, serrano peppers, tomatillos, beans, peas, squash and herbs; and flowers to repel insect pests and attract honeybees from the hive down the street. For readers who only dream of growing food, Dan suggested starting with just one thing. “If you don’t have a yard, put a pot on the porch. Or go vertical, with a trellis—you can grow tomatoes or cucumbers or sweet potatoes or peas and beans. Anything small and vining.” “Growing food like this helps you realize that it’s so hard,” Jodi said, thinking perhaps of the 450 garlic plants already in the ground, or the enormous hole still to be dug for the cistern. “It takes a huge amount of energy.” Then she buzzes off to supervise her industrious band of workers. Fortunately, this urban farm has no energy shortage. To check on the progress of Dan and Jodi’s farm, visit their website: overthefenceurbanfarm.com. Jodi writes a second blog about art education: insideoutarted.wordpress.com. Learn about garden automation at Andrew’s website: gardenbot.org.

The Ohio Master Urban Farmer Workshop Series interested in learning more about urban farming?

Nancy McKibben is happy to combine her loves of eating and writing with the opportunity to advocate for local food in the pages of Edible

Columbus. her suspense novel, The Chaos Protocol, the first book of The Millennium Trilogy, was a finalist for the ohioana book award for fiction in 2000. the second, Blood on Ice, followed in 2012 and the third is in the works. (the series is set in Columbus, and the books are available at amazon.com.) she is also a poet and lyricist, the mother of six and the wife of one. view her work at nancymckibben.com; contact her at nancy@nancymckibben.com.

mike hogan, the ohio state University extension educator for urban agriculture and associate professor, recommends: The Ohio Master Urban Farmer Workshop Series, presented by the ohio state University extension in partnership with local matters and other local groups. the 21-hour course covers topics like soil quality and soil health; integrated pest management; bees and native pollinators; season extension techniques; marketing; vegetable production; legal considerations and food safety and more. registration materials for the master Urban farmer course will be available september 1 at franklin.osu.edu, or by calling the franklin County office of the osU extension at 614-866-6900. as the lead faculty member for the program, mike said that an interest in urban agriculture is the only prerequisite for taking the course. “We have been working with urban farmers for several years now in several ohio cities, and what always strikes me about them is the sheer diversity of their backgrounds and skill sets, as well as their similarity of purpose. to a person, they share an incredible passion for growing community through the growing of food.” Mike also recommends: Growing Cities, a full-length documentary about urban farms. the screening is free, and the evening will include a local foods reception and a short panel discussion about urban agriculture in Columbus. the event is from 6:30pm–9pm, friday, June 27, the ohio Union, 1739 n. high st., Columbus.

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last seed

Grounded by eric lemay

For the farmers, of course, it’s work. And it might as well be midday. Star and Mike from Shade Valley Organics have been getting ready for hours, bunching kale, mustard greens and bok choy. Ed and Amy from Sassafras Farm have been arranging eggplants and stacking zucchinis. And the interns at Green Edge Gardens have been boxing heirloom tomatoes, shiitake mushrooms, and sunflower microgreens, preparing for the rush. I feel so grateful for this weekly bounty, this hard work, and I get the sense that my fellow market-goers share this feeling: what a gift to know where your food comes from, to hear about how the blackberries are progressing or whether the cilantro has bolted. And when I’m driving home, the car full of rich earthy smells from the bags on the backseat, I pass the giant chain groceries and superstores on East State Street—the Kroger and the Walmart, with their parking lots full—and I often wonder: What stroke of luck led me to the market? There, right there, is the miracle of industrial food production, with aisles of food from around the world. Why not turn in? No doubt there are many reasons, from the local food movement that has swept the nation to the fact that the garlic from Rich Gardens tastes better than any I’ve ever eaten, but lately, during these long summer evenings, when the sunsets linger in russet and pink, I’ve found myself picturing a place I haven’t seen in 30 years: an old farm stand tucked under a shade tree at the end of a long gravel driveway. The stand and the farm belonged to my great-grandfather, Ralph Waldo Scott. I knew him as “Grandpa Scott,” but the folks in Middletown, Ohio, who stopped by “Scott’s” knew him as one of their local farmers. He was

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born on September 16, 1886. I don’t know when he started farming, but I do know that for his 95th birthday his kids got him a blazing red rototiller, so he could better work the soil for his onions and spinach. He planted his crops right next to the old farmhouse where he and my great-grandmother lived and every year, so the story goes, he extended his fields a foot or two closer to the road until the corn almost brushed the passing traffic. He died in 1984, at the age of 98. I don’t remember much about him. I can picture him hazily, in overalls, wedged between rows of beans and, another time, unloading the massive station wagon that he drove through town like a torpedo. I remember him saying to my mother, “I can make potato soup.” She was worried about how he was feeding himself at his age, so he tried to reassure her. “I like potato soup.” And I remember once, when he was sick, he had to stay out of the fields and rest in bed. He didn’t like that. “Oh,” he said, “I’ve got plenty to do,” as he started circling his thumbs. “First, I’ll twiddle my thumbs this way.” Then he reversed the circle. “And then, I’ll twiddle them this way.” And yet, because of Grandpa Scott, I got to pick and shuck corn. I got to feel those silky threads peel free from those plump kernels. And I got to pull potatoes out of the ground and taste the cheek-shriveling crunch of rhubarb. Even better, I got to eat strawberries, green ones as well as red, right off the bush. Because of Grandpa Scott, “ripe” and “unripe” became real for me, but so, in a bigger sense, did food—not food as a packaged product found in stores, but food as it’s planted, grown and harvested from the soil that I can still remember clinging to my hands. Grandpa Scott did for me what I’d like to think our local farmers do for all of us: put us in touch with the ground. Ground us, literarily, in the food we eat and the earth from which it grows.

Eric LeMay lives in athens, where he teaches in the Creative Writing program at ohio University, his alma mater. visit his website for more of his writing on foodie and non-foodie things alike: ericlemay.org.

photo CoUrtesy of © robert mCCool

F

or townies like me, the farmers market here in Athens feels less like a place to buy squash and more like a festival. A string band is usually in full swing by the time I get there, kids in soccer cleats weave in and out of their parents’ thighs and hung-over students munch on cinnamon rolls. Old friends catch up, compare their purchases or recommend the basil they just found. “Better hurry— there’s only a few bags left!” The market is a good time, high spirited and communal.



edible Columbus | Summer 2014 | Issue No. 18